SC pediatricians recommend vaccinating children against COVID once eligible

COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — Despite the decline in new weekly COVID-19 cases, the South Carolina branch of the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly encourages parents to have their children vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as they become eligible.

“Fortunately, things are out of the question now,” said Bob Saul, SC AAP president. “It would be naive to think that at some point things will not go well, especially with the winter and holiday breaks.”

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Saul said the increase in child hospitalizations with COVID-19 caused by the emergence of the delta variant shows that COVID-19 poses a serious threat to children. “There is a greater risk of long-term COVID and MIS-C than there is from the vaccine in any form.”

Some children ages 5-11 can begin vaccinations as early as Wednesday, pending Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) approval for the Pfizer vaccine for that age group.

Saul said he is hopeful that parents will make the decision to vaccinate their children.

“The first numbers I’ve read show that 25-30% of people will eagerly seek out the vaccine. Others will hesitate and there will be a no-way group,” Saul says. “Experts say this is reflective of what we saw when the vaccine became available for adults.”

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At present, the state health department says that approximately 33% of South Carolinians aged 12-19 have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Saul advises parents to consult their child’s doctor.

‘We will do our utmost to get the right messages out. There is so much misinformation about the risk of the vaccine and the long-term effects of the vaccine that people have lost sight of the effects of the disease on the children, as well as their caregivers,” said Dr. Saul.

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