Young Children Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19 Remains Low
The number of young children fully vaccinated against COVID-19 remains low compared to the rest of the population. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, just 40 percent of kids ages 5 to 11 have completed the two-dose series and only 10 percent are considered up to date and fully boosted.
Many doctors are encouraging parents to include COVID-19 vaccines during their child’s back-to-school wellness checkups.
Dr. Leslie King-Schultz, a pediatrician with Hennepin Healthcare, says while children are as likely to get COVID-19 as adults, kids are less likely to become severely ill. But there are still fatality risks.
“There’s an estimate about one child is dying every day of COVID around the country,” said King-Schultz.
She says there are several reasons to vaccinate young children.
“One is to protect the child, and we do see children even though this summer that have been hospitalized,” King-Schultz said. “The other reason to vaccinate children is to protect the people around them.”
Parent Sasha White says she didn’t think twice about vaccinating her 8-year-old daughter.
“I think that was the safest thing to do and to keep her away from any COVID,” said White.
Parents Slow to Vaccinate Young Children
According to the Minnesota Department of Health, children in Hennepin County are ahead of their peers statewide regarding vaccinations. However, it’s still low compared to the rest of the population.
Over half of children ages 5 to 11 have completed the two-dose series. For kids 4 and under, it’s only 5 percent.
Doctors say parents can feel assured when considering vaccinations for their children.
“The COVID vaccine for young children, as it has been for older kids, is very safe. We have not seen serious side consequences or side effects from it,” explained Dr. King-Schultz.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized an updated COVID-19 vaccine booster from Moderna and Pfizer, which is supposed to be more effective against the new COVID-19 variants. Children 12 and older can get the Pfizer’s updated vaccine.
The Hennepin Healthcare Brooklyn Park Clinic offers COVID-19 vaccines for infants, children, and adults, but you must make an appointment.
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