COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 5-11 are now approved, following the most rigorous vaccine safety process in history.
But should you vaccinate your child against the coronavirus? Absolutely, say pediatricians at the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) and the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (MAAP).
“As pediatricians, our advice is simple—vaccinate your children against COVID-19,” the groups urged.
When? The sooner the better, say pediatricians at HealthyChildren.org.
Five reasons why—and why now
1.) The COVID vaccine for 5-11-year-olds is safe. The COVID-19 vaccine will NOT cause children to become infected by the virus and there is a very low risk of side effects. This new, low-dose vaccine was designed specifically for children.
2.) It will save lives today and for years to come. In the late 1700s, American scientists developed the smallpox vaccine, and we’re lucky they did—millions of lives have been saved. Likewise, the polio vaccine, developed in the 1950s, has saved countless people from paralysis and death.
Today, we have an opportunity to halt COVID-19 in its tracks, but we need to act now. Cases are already rising in Worcester and winter is coming, which means more time indoors, where viruses are more easily spread.
3.) It protects children from serious illness and long-term complications. Serious cases of COVID-19 are rare in children, but hospitalizations and long-term complications do occur. The best way to protect them—and have the peace of mind of knowing they’re protected—is through vaccination.
4.) It honors and safeguards educators and support staff. By vaccinating children, parents and caregivers show respect for those who care for young people, including educators and support staff such as bus drivers and food service workers. Children want to be safe and want others to be safe, so let’s follow their lead.
5.) It keeps families working and the entire community running. When you help stop the spread of COVID-19 by getting vaccinated, you help the whole community. Early educators stay safe and healthy so programs can remain open; families can work, knowing children are cared for; and businesses have fewer sick days, which benefits the local and state economy.
The pandemic showed us how important early education and school programs really are, so let’s protect them.
Schedule a COVID-19 vaccination for your 5-11-year-old. Contact your child’s pediatrician, visit vaxfinder.mass.gov, or attend an upcoming Mobile Vaccination Clinic. To help prepare for their vaccination, follow recommendations from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.