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Some pediatricians are urging parents to vaccinate their children before school begins

Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 7:19 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Some local pediatricians are encouraging parents to get their children 12 and older vaccinated to fight against COVID-19 before the start of school in the fall.

“You should go ahead and get that COVID-19 vaccination started now so they can be fully protected before school,“ said Dr. John Gaudet.

The pediatrician said that although young people will return to the classroom for in-person learning, it’s still important to remember we are still in a pandemic, so parents should take their kids to get vaccinated to protect them from the unknown. 

“Pfizer is authorized for use down to age 12. Moderna is authorized for children down to 16, and then Johnson and Johnson is for 18 and up.”

Gaudet explained that while some kids can get seriously sick, most children with COVID-19 have mild symptoms or they may have no symptoms at all. But they can spread this dangerous, infectious disease to vulnerable members of the community.

”The vaccines that we have appear to be good against the Delta variant, which appears to be the dominate variant in the United States. It is also true that although the numbers of COVID are going down, and that’s wonderful if that’s the case.

However, it’s becoming more prevalent in younger people and we’re seeing cases in younger people more and more as a percentage,” said Gaudet.

He encourages parents to talk to health professionals if they are concerned or hesitant about their child getting vaccinated. With most COVID vaccines requiring two doses, he says the time is now to get the shot.

”They remember last year when the children were having to quarantine, when there were outbreaks in the schools. If your child is fully vaccinated for COVID an, let’s say someone is sitting in the seat next to them or the row next to them in their classroom gets sick with COVID. If your child is vaccinated, they won’t need to quarantine, they can stay in school. I think if we can get more people vaccinated, we can get the pandemic behind us.”

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