Yes, It’s Time to Vaccinate Your 5–11 Kid Against Covid-19
Last night, with the help of a Vaccine Hunters group on Facebook, I found parenting gold: an actual available appointment for a Covid-19 shot for my 7-year-old. I immediately booked the appointment, for this weekend at a mass vaccination event.
I could scarcely believe the appointment was real, as a minute after I signed up for it, the website told me all available appointments were filled. Meanwhile, every pharmacy website tells me the same thing: my under-12-year-old isn’t eligible yet.*
But, parents, our kids (age 5 and up) ARE eligible!
Yesterday, CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H. recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine for ages 5–11, after a unanimous vote from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
The ACIP is a group of medical and public health experts that develops recommendations on how to use vaccines to control diseases in the United States. I listened live as these experts endorsed the pediatric Covid vaccine, saying they couldn’t wait for their own young children and grandchildren to receive it.
Why are experts so excited to give their kids the vaccine?
“For the same reason pediatricians recommend seatbelts and car seats, the American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending vaccines for Covid-19,” wrote AAP president Dr. Lee Savio Beers, in an opinion piece for The New York Times.
COVID-19 cases in children can result in hospitalizations, deaths, MIS-C (inflammatory syndromes) and long-term complications.
The vaccine will protect our children, and it will also increase community immunity, protecting the most vulnerable among us and hastening an end to the worst parts of the pandemic.
“Children are resilient, but they need stability, hope and confidence in the adults who care for them,” Dr. Beers wrote. “While the brutal toll of the pandemic will reverberate for years to come, let’s make the choice to finally put children first.”