Washoe County pediatricians share the questions they’re getting about the COVID vaccine for kids

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) — The advent of pediatric covid-19 vaccines has flooded pediatricians in Washoe County with questions.

While many parents and caregivers wonder where to find the vaccine and quickly, others have questions about safety and effectiveness.

A common question for parents is, “If COVID is mild for most children, do they really need a COVID-19 vaccine?” According to local doctors, the answer is ‘Yes’.

“We’ve had 680 children across the country die from COVID and children shouldn’t be dying,” said Dr. Krista Colletti, pediatrician at Aspen Pediatrics. “One of those kids was my patient, so I don’t think this is okay.”

“If you have a lot of kids who get infected, you get a small percentage of those kids who get very sick, and any preventable death is completely unacceptable to us,” said Dr. Christina Raman, physician and owner of Top Pediatrics.

As for the concern about heart inflammation known as myocarditis, the CDC says there have been rare cases, mostly among male teens and young adults. It also says the risk of heart inflammation from COVID-19 is greater.

“If you get myocarditis from the COVID infection, it takes a lot longer. Some kids don’t fully recover from that. It’s a much bigger problem,” said Dr. ramadan. “While the children who have developed myocarditis from the vaccine itself, again very rare, it has been short-lived and they have made a full recovery.”

After the spike in cases we saw last winter, both Dr. Colleti like Raman that it is important to protect children. So if your child is 11 years old and not turning 12 in a few months, they recommend that you don’t wait.

“The reason they lowered the dose for the little kids is that their immune systems are much more active, you know, they make great antibodies, so even in the older kids in that age group, the 11-year-olds, when they checked them for antibodies, they had a great response,” said Dr. Colleti.

If your child had COVID, the recommendation is to get them vaccinated anyway, as Dr. Colleti says there is still not enough data on how long the antibody protection lasts.

“It’s about protecting them from serious illness,” said Dr. ramadan. “I can walk out here and get COVID, but I’m probably fine because I’m protected by the vaccine’s immunity.”

For those who believe the vaccine is rushed, Dr. Raman, studies on this vaccine began during the SARS outbreak and this is its first real-world application.

Both doctors hope to receive doses of the vaccine this week and will have their own children vaccinated.

They recommend that parents talk to their pediatrician about the decision.

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