Health experts say kids COVID-19 vaccine outweighs risk of virus

Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 7:05 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The Wisconsin DHS announced on Wednesday that children in the 5 to 11-year-old age group are eligible to get Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Parents will have to wait just a little longer before they can immunize their kids. While kids are eligible for the vaccine, the state still waiting for the CDC to give vaccinators the necessary training and information about the vaccines.

The DHS is asking for parents to stay patient while the vaccinators learn about it. They said it’s best to contact your health clinic or doctor to schedule your kid’s shot.

The Pfizer vaccine for kids is about one third of the dose compared to their adult vaccine, this is to help minimize possible side effects. Health experts say this is the next major step in reaching herd immunity.

“Getting a large percentage of the population vaccinated is the only way to get to the point where we don’t have to worry about it when we go out in public anymore and everyone can function and travel safely and we can get the economy back going again,” UW-School of Medicine Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Gregory Demuri said.

The DHS said the CDC has plenty of vaccine for kids in the state. The Pfizer vaccine is a series of two shots, taken 21 days apart.

“Getting your child vaccinated against COVID-19 not only helps protect them from long term symptoms of COVID-19 but it also protects those around them. Their family, their friends, classmates and teachers,” DHS Bureau of Communicable Diseases Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ryan Westergaard said.

A CDC study from September shows hospitalization rates are 10 times higher in unvaccinated kids compared to those who are fully vaccinated. Just last week, kids made up a quarter of new COVID-19 cases.

Aspirus hospital said the Pfizer vaccine is safe and over 90 percent effective in children.

“Vaccines in general are one of the most important tools that we have in our arsenal to keep kids healthy and out of hospitals and the COVID vaccine is yet another resource for us to make sure your children are protected,” Aspirus Medical Group North System Senior Physician Executive Dr. Robyn Schertz said.

She said in a study of over 5,000 kids, there’s been zero adverse reactions from the shot.

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