Starkville pediatrician explains why COVID-19 vaccine is safe for kids and the best way for them to get back to normal

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – On Friday, Mississippi began administering the COVID-19 vaccine to children between the ages of 12 and 15.

It’s a step that state health officials say could get them much closer to a return to normalcy, especially when it comes to going back to school.

However, a recent Department of Health survey of 11,000 Mississippi residents found that just over half of Mississippians say their children will get those photos.

“Under any circumstance, under any conceivable scenario, you are a thousand-fold, if not a million times better off with the vaccine than with COVID,” said Mississippi Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs.

American Academy of Pediatrics endorses COVID vaccine for 12-15

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– thomas dobbs (@TCBPubHealth) May 14, 2021

Dr. Dobbs was part of the press conference on Thursday and discussed the importance of providing the COVID-19 vaccine to the more than 160,000 children between the ages of 12 and 15.

The FDA has declared the Pfizer vaccine safe after testing more than 2,000 children in that age group. The American Academy of Pediatrics has also endorsed the shot.

“It’s safe. It’s very, very safe,” says Dr. Tami Brooks. “In fact, in the studies done with over 2,000 children, no serious side effects were reported.”

Dr. Brooks has been a pediatrician for over 25 years, and nearly all of that time was spent at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. She moved to Starkville’s Physicians and Surgeons in the summer of 2020.

“(Based on) the thousands of doses in the studies, we know this is safe and effective,” says Dr. Brooks. And we’ve been monitoring those kids and we’re not seeing those side effects. In fact, we see less of it than in the adult population. “

Parents can take their children to any clinic that administers the Pfizer vaccine.

Dr. Brooks says getting those Pfizer shots is the healthiest option available to kids, in more ways than one.

“We’ve seen our mental health crises and visits soar,” she said. “The vaccine is a very safe and effective way to get these children back to school in their normal environment. “

And while the vaccine isn’t currently mandatory for schools, Dr. Brooks said that the decision not to vaccinate a child could affect everyone around them.

“Just as other unvaccinated children can have an impact on other high-risk children or teachers,” she explained.

But Dr. Brooks is also a parent. And says she is happy to answer any questions about the vaccine.

“We are here to answer the parents’ questions and to calm their fears,” she says. ‘I am a parent. And I have two older sons and I vaccinated them. I have always vaccinated them and I feel very safe. “

Dr. Brooks says she expects both the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines to be approved for that 12 to 15-year-old age group as well in the near future.

All children must be accompanied by a parent to receive their injections.

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