‘Go ahead and get the vaccine now’ for kids, local parents urged
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - We know their case numbers are low – but what about their risk? Many parents have waited nearly a year to get their kids vaccinated. But now that the chance is here, it seems the urgency isn’t.
You might remember this survey – the Kaiser Family Foundation has asked parents how soon they’d get their young child vaccinated before the Pfizer vaccine was approved. Back in September, 34 percent of parents said they’d get them vaccinated right away. Going into September that number dropped only 27 said they’d get it right away. The majority said they’d wait and see.
But a local pediatrician says he’s not advising any parents to wait and see. He’s telling them to get it now.
“The parents who are wanting to get the vaccine have started calling right away,” said Dr. David Allen, pediatrician.
For almost a week now, North Augusta Pediatrics has been vaccinating our little population.
“We’ve given about 180 doses since we started last week. So every day we’ve got a full schedule of people coming in,” he said.
Giving about 40 to 50 doses a day, Allen says right now parents are eager, but soon that will change.
COVID hospitalizations at Children’s Hospital of Georgia dropped from a pandemic high of 41 in September to 21 in October. Allen says because the cases dropped parents concern has, too.
But it probably shouldn’t.
“I’m not telling any parents, ‘Yeah, you probably need to wait and see.’ I would rather they go ahead and get the vaccine now. The sooner we get more people vaccinated, the sooner this is going to dwindle down,” he said.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, last week, 24 percent of all reported COVID cases were pediatric.
Children make up 22 percent of the U.S. population. He says kids catch the virus easily and spread it among themselves and other populations.
“They’re worried about the risk of the vaccine, but the risk of COVID are much greater than any risk of the vaccine,” said Allen.
And herd immunity just isn’t quite there yet and it might not ever be.
“Natural immunity or herd immunity has never wiped out a disease in my lifetime. No herd immunity got rid of measles or chicken pox, mumps or Rubella or polio. It was all about vaccines,” he said.
Allen says if your child has had COVID in the past, he’s not too worried about them getting it again. However, it is possible. That’s why he’s advising all parents on the fence – the vaccine is safe and effective and it’s our best tool to finally get control over COVID.
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