TODAY: Does my child really need the COVID-19 vaccine?
By A. Pawlowski
With a COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 expected to be authorized for emergency use, many parents have lingering questions about how to proceed.
The Pfizer-BioNTech shot would be the first approved for kids under 12 in the U.S.
It comes as almost 6.2 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, with the number of newly-diagnosed cases in recent weeks remaining “extremely high,” the American Academy of Pediatrics reported in mid-October. Thankfully, severe illness, hospitalization and death due to COVID-19 were uncommon among kids, it noted.
What should families know as the shot becomes available?
TODAY asked Dr. Angela Myers, director of the infectious diseases division at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City and an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, does my young child really need to get vaccinated?
It’s true that long-term effects of COVID-19 are less common in children, but “you don't know up front if that's going to be your child or not,” Myers said.
“Just like you don't know when your child gets infected from COVID, if they're going to have severe disease or not,” she said. “We’ve seen plenty of children in our hospital who have severe disease and are otherwise healthy. They're not obese, they don't have severe asthma, they don't have underlying immune compromising conditions."
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For information on COVID-19 Vaccine at Children's Mercy