Doctors push for children to get vaccinated before the holidays

Coronavirus

TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) – Doctors say now is the time to get your kid vaccinated so they can be fully protected against COVID-19 in time for the holidays.

It takes about five weeks for a child to be fully protected from the virus once they have received the vaccine. According to guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

While some places across the nation began giving out shots for kids ages 5-11 over the weekend, The Florida Department of Health is set to receive more than 90,000 doses of Pfizer for kids ages 5 to 11.

DOH says the initial shipment should be delivered this week and available at doctor offices, pharmacies and county health departments.

Dr. Allison Messina with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital says some parents wonder if it’s worth getting the vaccine since COVID is known to be less severe in kids.

“The FDA and the CDC had to deliberate on what is safer to do,” said Dr. Messina. “And all of the studies pretty much very clearly show that it is safer to have those children get vaccinated.”

In the 5 to 11 age group, Dr. Messina says, 8,300 kids have been hospitalized nationwide since the start of the pandemic.

“Five to 11-year-old people are among the healthiest people in our population and they shouldn’t be going to the hospital really at all,” she said.

If you choose vaccination, it’s recommended that you don’t give your child Tylenol, or Motrin beforehand.

Dr. Messina says data shows pre-treating a child could lower their antibody response, potentially leaving them less protected, and says it’s safe to get the COVID and flu vaccine at the same time.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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