Vandy pediatrician urges parents to give kids COVID, flu shots together

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) – A pediatrician at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital in Vanderbilt encourages parents to give eligible children the flu and COVID-19 injections during the same appointment, says it’s safe and will save parents a trip to the doctor.

Vanderbilt of the Pediatric Clinic, Medical Director Dr. Kate Carlson, explains: “We have a lot of good safety data for both vaccines and we have a lot of safety data for administering… different vaccines together. We know they are effective, they don’t have a greater chance of reactions, and we know that they are still likely to be effective in producing an antibody response.”

She said that what they ask parents to give their child multiple injections in one day is not something new.

“Since mid-May, we’ve been giving the COVID-19 vaccine to kids 12 and older, which means we’ve been giving the COVID-19 vaccine for nearly six months with other standard adolescent vaccines as well,” Carlson said. . “So we’ve had a lot of experience giving that vaccine with other vaccines … we’ve had no problems with that. We’ve had no patients at all who called back with any concerns about them.”

Claire Kopsky

Vanderbilt at Children’s Pediatric Primary Care Clinic, Medical Director Dr. Kate Carlson

Carlson explained that since the beginning of the school year in the fall of 2021, she and other pediatricians at Vanderbilt have seen some increase in capacity at their clinics and in their hospital.

“20% of the pediatric cases of COVID since the start of the pandemic were within the month schools started. So it’s affecting children now,” Carlson said.

“The delta variant is definitely more contagious. It’s much more likely to be contagious. We see it running through households, much more than before,” she said, saying they were sometimes “overwhelmed” by its capacity.

“Back in the day, with the first COVID variants we would see, the parents would get it and then the kids wouldn’t get it or if the kids did get it, they wouldn’t really have symptoms,” Carlson said. “What we’re seeing now is one person gets it, often it’s the kid who takes it home from school, and then it goes all over the house. Very different from what we saw at the beginning of the pandemic.”

There is also a concern that too many children are falling behind on their regular vaccinations due to limited doctor visits for many children last year.

“[Parents,] make sure you stay up to date with general health checks, getting standard vaccinations,” Carlson pleaded. [years old] and 11. And on 16.”

While the COVID shot is still not approved for children under 11, Carlson said those parents shouldn’t wait to link the vaccinations.

“We’ve got the flu vaccine… for everyone: six months and older now. Give them their flu vaccine so they’re protected before Halloween. So we say flu for ‘Boo!'” Carlson said. “We want to protect them as early as possible in the best interests of the child.”

Claire Kopsky

Outside of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee.

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