Mayo Clinic pediatric specialists discuss safety, importance of child COVID-19 vaccinations

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – With a COVID-19 vaccine not yet approved for use in individuals under the age of 16, health care experts realize that parents have a lot to consider as we fly through this pandemic.

‘We have to be honest with parents, who have children [COVID-19] have some unusual symptoms. We talked about the symptoms of the long-range fighter, there are many unknowns… ”said Mayo Clinic Pediatric and Critical Care Specialist Dr. Joseph Poterucha.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a Mayo Clinic Pediatric Infectious Diseases expert, echoed this point while highlighting the number of COVID-19 infections in children.

“We know that since April 8, since the start of the pandemic, more than 3.5 million children have been infected with the virus. They make up about 13 and a half percent of all people who have become infected over time. of the pandemic, ”she said.

Pediatric health experts continue to promote encouraging facts surrounding COVID-19 vaccines in children. Pfizer has emerged as the front runner in that effort, asking the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use approval in people 12 to 15 years of age.

“And the first data they’ve shared publicly looks promising and exciting,” Rajapakse said of Pfizer’s results. “So that trial showed that the vaccine was very protective, so one hundred percent protective against symptomatic illness in teens.”

While some are hesitant about signing their kids up for a vaccination, experts say making the shot available to younger ages will make it easier to beat the virus.

“It’s just so exciting to know that we’re not just expanding this vaccine to the teen level, but the preteen level with good data on safety and efficacy …” said Poterucha.

Expanding the vaccination program to more age groups also means an opportunity for entire families to resume their pre-pandemic life.

“It is good to point out that this vaccine is a release mechanism to reconnect with family. Grandparents, lovers, the social circle,” noted Poterucha.

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