Vaccinate your child to prevent COVID-19 spread

November 23, 2021

There have been more than 250 million cases of COVID-19 globally. There have been more than 5 million deaths from COVID-19 globally. There have been more than 46 million cases of COVID-19 in the USA. There have been more than 754,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the USA.

More than 1,000 people in the USA still die every day from COVID-19. There have been more than 6 million cases of COVID-19 in children (less than 18 years old) in the USA. New cases in children have been above 100,000 for 14 consecutive weeks (as of Nov. 17, 2021), and are rising.

Seven to 8 percent of infected children can suffer long-haul symptoms, just like adults. Multisytem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, a very serious illness, is caused by COVID-19. More than 600 children have died from COVID-19.

In an average year, about 100 children die from the flu. There have been more than 1.8 million cases of COVID-19 in children 5-11 years old. More than 8,600 children 5-11 years old have been hospitalized. One-third have required admission to the ICU. One-third have no underlying conditions.

More than 90 children 5-11 years old have died from COVID-19, making it the eighth most common cause of death in that age group. Deaths from COVID-19 in all ages are almost always in those that are not vaccinated. We need to protect our 5-11-year-olds, all children, and all adults.

Kids need their freedom back. They need to feel safe and be safe in school, sports, and other activities. We need to bring joy back into their lives. COVID vaccine will eventually lead to unmasking in school and elsewhere.

Kids are reservoirs of infection, spreading COVID-19 to other kids and adults. New mutations could occur in infected children that are resistant to the present vaccines. There is a mental health crisis among children due to the pandemic. Some 140,000 children have lost a caregiver to COVID-19. Kids have fallen behind in school and learning.

Children have had decreased social lives and time with friends. Children have had decreased time with extended family and grandparents.

Kids have had less time playing sports and experiencing other extracurricular activities. The approved vaccine for 5-11 year olds is 91 percent effective.

The vaccine is very safe: side effects are mild to moderate: pain at injection site, fatigue, headache, chills, diarrhea, muscle aches; no myocarditis was found in the trials of 5-11year olds; we expect 26 cases of myocarditis for every 1 million doses of vaccine administered; of the more than 850 cases of myocarditis found in those under 30 years old, the cases were mild, and there were no deaths; there is a 37 times greater chance of getting myocarditis and heart damage from COVID-19 infection than from the vaccine, and the myocarditis from infection is much more severe than the myocarditis from the vaccine; there were no cases of anaphylaxis (life-threatening allergic reaction) in the trials; the vaccine does not and cannot affect a patient’s DNA and does not cause infertility; billions of doses of COVID vaccines have been given globally to adults and adolescents, and have been shown be incredibly safe and effective; there will be intense ongoing surveillance of the vaccine, even more than there has been with other vaccines.

The vaccine has been shown to lead to better immunity than natural infection, especially in those with mild disease.  It is OK for someone who has had COVID infection to get the vaccine. In fact, it will turbocharge their immune system. Wearing masks, physical distancing, hand washing, and improving ventilation can decrease the spread of COVID-19, and presently need to be continued, but they do not truly prevent infection. Only the vaccine can prevent COVID-19 infection. There can be breakthrough infections, but the vaccine will save you and your child from serious infection, hospitalization and death.

The vaccine is safe, effective and free. The risk of harm from COVID-19 is far greater than any risk from the vaccine. The key to ending the pandemic is to immunize all eligible people, including our 5-11-year-olds. Protect yourself and your children.

Be kind and thoughtful of others. Immunize yourself and your children.

Jeffrey J. Boxer, MD
Nancy Gideon, MD
Erin Fletcher, DO
Stacey G. Fox, MD
Meredith Luckenbaugh, MD
Beacon Pediatrics Rehoboth Beach
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