The Covid Vaccine for Children: What Parents Need to Know

Desiree Mohammadi celebrates after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at Cohen Children’s Medical Center as vaccines were approved for children aged 5-11, amid the coronavirus disease pandemic, in New Hyde Park, on Nov. 4. (Andrew Kelly/REUTERS)

Now that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has approved the pediatric Covid-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11, parents with kids in this age group are asking, now what?

For some, the decision to vaccinate elementary school-age children is perhaps a quick “yes” and, for others, maybe it is a more complicated decision. 

Here is what we know so far.

What is the American Academy of Pediatrics saying regarding the Covid-19 shot for kids ages 5 -11? The AAP stated that it recommends that children of this age receive the vaccination. The AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians) also voiced that it strongly supports vaccination in all eligible children as authorized by the FDA.

What about our schools and the vaccine for this age group? For now, the Covid-19 vaccine, once approved for use in younger children, will be made available on a voluntary basis — with all parents strongly encouraged to get their children vaccinated, amNew York Metro reported. But Gov. Kathy Hochul did not rule out potentially mandating use of the vaccine among children if usage is low and Covid-19 cases begin to spike.

“As I’ve said all along, I want to empower parents and the schools to do the right thing first,” she said. “But if we’re not seeing adequate compliance, or we’re seeing the numbers start going up … if I start seeing infection rates going up, hospitalizations going up, more children being affected, I will have no choice. But right now, the numbers are good, you can get the kids voluntarily vaccinated, parents will hopefully do the right thing and I will keep an eye on that situation.”

What are doctors in the community doing for this age group concerning the Covid-19 vaccine? The CDC’s Pediatric Vaccination Implementation Goals aim to ensure access and availability to kids in schools and hospitals and establish programs in vulnerable and underserved populations.

This story first appeared on NewYorkFamily.com, where you can find the full article.

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