EARLY YEARS: COVID-19 expert offers guidance for parents when it comes to vaccinating kids

COVID expert says vaccinating younger teens can help them enjoy more normalcy this summer
Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 6:08 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - “What we’re hearing is excitement. I mean, there’s a lot of concern about summer sports, summer school, and I think the ability to do that on some level of normalcy is really exciting for most parents,” says Jonathan Baktari, MD, CEO of e7health.com.

Excitement, but also some concerns.

COVID expert Dr. Baktari recently shared with us what he sees as the benefits of younger teens getting the vaccine.

“Well, we know this age group, 12 to 16, makes up 5% of the population, but they make up nine percent of the new cases,” he says.

Doctor Baktari says getting that 5% vaccinated is key to reaching herd immunity faster.

But is the vaccine safe for most kids? And which children should avoid the vaccine?

“The good news is the profile of the people who should avoid it, which is very minimal, is the same as Pfizer emergency use authorization for adults,” he says.

No kid looks forward to getting a shot, but Doctor Baktari says this is also a chance for children to catch up on other vaccines they might have missed during the pandemic.

“So, this may be an opportunity, if you haven’t brought your kids back for their sort of catchup visit to their pediatrician, this would be the time to do it.”

And, he says, that quick jab in the arm will help bring some normalcy this summer.

“For all those parents who locked up their kids last summer, and the impact that had, this is going to be a welcome relief,” says Dr. Baktari.

Click here for more information on how to register your child for the COVID-19 vaccine.

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