Pediatrician: Get your shots | News

As of August 1, Scott County has 233 new confirmed cases of COVID, and most health officials believe the recent increase in coronavirus cases is due to the Delta variant of the virus. The WEDCO Health District renewed its analysis of the age distribution on Aug. 3, as it appears that the latest outbreak is targeting younger people, especially since the vaccine is not approved for anyone under the age of 12 and fewer younger people have been vaccinated.

That appears to be true in Scott County, as 62 percent of confirmed cases as of Aug. 3 have involved people under the age of 40, including 23 percent under the age of 18. More than 90 percent of individuals age 65 and older in Scott County have received a COVID vaccine, and 60 percent of individuals age 18 and older have been vaccinated — one of the highest rates in the area — but the percentage of youth is younger than 18 years that is vaccinated is not that high. One reason may be that the vaccine was later not approved for anyone under the age of 18 and at a time when the pandemic appeared to be weakening.

However, with school starting in a week, the surge in COVID cases has prompted Scott County Schools to mandate masks in its buildings.

dr. Erin Johnson is affiliated with Georgetown Community Hospital and practices at Bluegrass Pediatrics. She answered a few questions that some people have about the vaccine and its importance.

“Since one COVID-19 vaccine has been authorized for emergency use for individuals 12 years and older, I have received many inquiries from parents who want to do the best for their child’s health and well-being – now and in the future said Johnson. “In some cases, parents have recently become familiar with the idea of ​​self-vaccination and are now considering what is best for their children. This can be overwhelming to say the least.

“First, as a pediatrician, I strongly recommend the COVID-19 vaccine for those who meet the specific age requirements. Although fewer children are infected with COVID-19 compared to adults, children can still be infected with the virus; getting sick from COVID-19; and spread the disease to others. Studies have shown that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is safe for individuals 12 years of age and older, and I trust the growing body of clinical research to support this. “There is a lot of misinformation circulating about the risks and benefits of vaccinating adolescents.”

Countering this latest wave of COVID-19 is possible if enough people are vaccinated, Johnson said.

“The best defense we have against COVID-19 is to get as many people vaccinated as possible,” she said. “Right now, most of the patients we see hospitalized with COVID-19 have not been vaccinated and we don’t want you or your child to be next. As we continue to fight the pandemic, I also want to encourage our community to wear masks, social distance from others and practice good hand hygiene to slow the spread of disease.”

Below, Dr. Johnson some frequently asked questions about the vaccine:

Is the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine safe and effective for young recipients (12 years and older)?

dr. Johnson: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), clinical trials have shown that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is highly effective in preventing COVID-19 infection in adolescents 12 years and older. Vaccinations can help prevent adolescents from spreading COVID-19 to others and can also keep your child from getting seriously ill, even if they do get COVID-19. From a safety perspective, the vaccine has undergone and will continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in US history.

Is there a COVID-19 vaccine available for children under the age of 12?

dr. Johnson: Currently, 12 years old is the youngest age limit for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine based on current studies. This age requirement could eventually be adjusted to include younger children as research and clinical trials continue.

I’ve read that fertility can be affected. Is that true?

dr. Johnson: There is no demonstrated link between vaccines and infertility in the studies conducted to date. The CDC reports that there is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines cause fertility problems, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that the vaccine studies do not indicate any safety concerns for those who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.

Should I be concerned that my child will develop a heart infection?

dr. Johnson: There have been reports of myocarditis and pericarditis in adolescents and young adults following vaccination against COVID-19. However, the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks. The CDC continues to recommend COVID-19 vaccination for individuals 12 years of age and older. Talk to your child’s pediatrician if he or she has any pre-existing heart condition that should be considered before vaccination.

What Other Vaccine Options Are Available for Adolescents?

dr. Johnson: To date, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is the only vaccine approved for use in individuals 12 years of age and older.

Can I wait for another vaccine approved for young recipients?

dr. Johnson: The best rule of thumb is to get the first vaccine available that will protect against COVID-19 as soon as possible. It is not known when or if another vaccine could be approved for the 12-15 age group.

The Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine approved for anyone under the age of 18. Pfizer vaccines are provided by the WEDCO Health District at the Scott County Public Health Department every Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Kroger’s Little Clinic also supplies the Pfizer vaccine. Your child’s pediatrician also has the Pfizer vaccine. dr. Johnson works at Bluegrass Pediatrics and Internal Medicine, who can be reached at 502-863-2818.

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