Please Vaccinate Your Children for COVID-19
From Dr. Stephanie Stovall, a Pediatric Infectious Disease Physician and Chief Officer Quality and Patient Safety for Lee Health.
At Golisano Children’s Hospital, we have had more than 300 children admitted for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
Several of them have been so sick, they had to stay in the intensive care unit (ICU) and some even needed ventilators to breathe.
While some infected children had preexisting conditions, others didn’t. We saw otherwise perfectly healthy children become extremely sick from COVID-19.
Many parents whose children have become ill did not know that children could get that sick from COVID-19; lots of parents are now excited about the opportunity to protect their children with the vaccine.
If you haven’t yet vaccinated your child, please do so as soon as possible. It is the best protection you can give them against this virus.
As a pediatric infectious diseases physician, I want you to know that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective. COVID-19 vaccines are being monitored for safety with the most comprehensive and intense safety monitoring program in U.S. history.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), clinical trials involving thousands of children were conducted and there were no serious adverse events related to the vaccine. Clinical trials in children ages 5-11 years found the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be at least 90.7% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19.
Getting your child vaccinated can also help keep them from getting seriously sick even if they do get COVID-19.
While acute COVID-19 tends to be milder in children compared with adults, it can make kids very sick and cause children to be hospitalized. Some children will also become ill with multisystem inflammatory syndrome after recovering from COVID-19 (MIS-C), which has not been seen after vaccination. This syndrome typically causes much more severe illness and prolonged treatments and hospitalizations. Just as in adults, COVID-19 infection can be mild, moderate, severe or even deadly.
Lee Health has great ways for you to get your child 5 years-old and older vaccinated at no cost to you.
You can take them to the Golisano Children’s Hospital Mobile Vaccination Clinic, which travels throughout the Southwest Florida community to vaccinate anyone 5 years-old and older for COVID-19. Lee Physician Group pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases offices also offer the vaccination.
To learn more about pediatric vaccines or view the schedule of stops for the mobile clinic, visit www.leehealth.org.
If you can’t make it to one of those locations, several pharmacies throughout the region also offer the COVID-19 vaccine to children.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your pediatrician.