Experts urge more parents in Iowa to get children vaccinated against COVID-19
Experts urge more parents in Iowa to get children vaccinated against COVID-19

Experts urge more parents in Iowa to get children vaccinated against COVID-19

As the number of Iowans admitted with COVID-19 continues to decline, experts say it remains crucial that more parents get their children vaccinated against COVID-19.

According to state data, less than a quarter of Iowa’s 5- to 11-year-olds have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The virus has been linked to an increase in multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C, in children, a rare but serious condition that can affect a child’s organs. Its exact cause is unknown.

Joel Waddell, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, said he sees the condition in children who are unvaccinated.

He said that although the number of children admitted to Blank has decreased as the number of state infections has decreased, he expects the number of children with MIS-C to continue to increase.

“The reason for this is that with every other dominant variant, the peak cases of MIS-C have occurred about a month or so after the peak cases of acute COVID in a community,” Waddell said. “And so our peak event was mid- to late January, and we are not a month left from that yet.”

He said some parents are reluctant to vaccinate their children due to concerns about fertility problems and long-term effects. But research has shown that there is no evidence to support these concerns.

“IN the history of the vaccines – so a few hundred years now – of every single vaccine that has ever been approved out there, there has never been a case where a side effect from a vaccine first appeared years, two decades later. Never, “he said.

Waddell said he has also seen a decline in routine childhood vaccinations against measles, pertussis and HPV.

“What’s very scary to me is that we are not getting those numbers back to the pre-pandemic vaccination level,” he said. “And then we’ll start seeing outbreaks of measles, pertussis that can be even more deadly to children than COVID.”

Waddell said it is extremely important for parents to make sure their children’s vaccinations are up to date.


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