Vaccinating children against COVID-19: local doctor points out the facts – Community News
Covid-19

Vaccinating children against COVID-19: local doctor points out the facts

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – While children ages 5 to 11 are rolling up their sleeves for the COVID-19 vaccine, some parents may still have doubts and questions. We are on your side to separate fact from fiction.

“The kids are getting sicker than before, so we can and have a chance with the vaccine to prevent some of the more serious infections,” said Dr. Douglas Mitchell, pediatrician at the King’s Daughters Children’s Hospital.

dr. Mitchell said early in the pandemic that doctors weren’t too concerned about severe COVID infections in children. That changed when the pandemic raged. This summer and fall was a major turning point.

“The number of cases in children’s hospitals has escalated since the summer delta variant,” he said.

Regulators approved Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 earlier this month. When making the decision to have your child vaccinated, Mitchell says stick to the facts

“People are concerned about its safety and we know it’s a safe vaccine,” he said. “We have the experience of several hundred million doses in the elderly population to demonstrate the safety profile of the vaccine.”

If you’re hesitating and still have questions, “go to your pediatrician,” he advised.

All around the talk of kids getting the COVID vaccine is myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle. dr. Mitchell says this is an extremely rare side effect that is temporary and mild.

He said a severe COVID infection could be much worse for your child.

“It is clear that COVID disease causes heart disease that is not temporary and not mild,” he said.

If you want to have your child vaccinated, dR. Mitchell says almost all of their pediatric offices have it available. You can also get it at the mass vaccination site at Military Circle Mall in Norfolk.

He adds that several local school districts plan to provide the vaccine in schools as well.