Pediatricians Are Eager To Vaccinate Kids 5 To 11 Against Covid, AAP Says
“Sharing this life-saving vaccine with our children is a huge step forward and provides us all with more confidence and optimism about the future.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has updated their Covid-19 guidance to include a “strong recommendation” that children age 5 to 11 receive the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine. The AAP’s new guidance came as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) moved to issue a similar recommendation shortly after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded Pfizer’s emergency use authorization to include children as young as 5 years old. In issuing their recommendation, the AAP urged families to consult with their child’s pediatrician or health care provider about getting the vaccine.
“Sharing this life-saving vaccine with our children is a huge step forward and provides us all with more confidence and optimism about the future,” AAP President Dr. Lee Savio Beers said Tuesday in a statement. “Pediatricians are eager to participate in the immunization process and talk with families about this vaccine. We want to ensure that access to this vaccine is equitable, and that every child is able to benefit.”
The AAP has recommended all children 5 years of age and older receive a Covid-19 vaccine unless they have previously shown contraindications or allergic reactions to vaccination. Even children who have at some point contracted Covid-19 are recommended by the AAP to get vaccinated in order to prevent a possible second infection and lower the child’s risk of experiencing severe illness or hospitalization as a result of Covid-19.
While parents may have concerns about vaccinating their children, the AAP has stressed that vaccinating children against Covid-19 will not only protect their health but will also allow them to fully return to all of the activities they enjoyed before the pandemic. Additionally, the pediatric professional organization has noted that vaccinating eligible children may give parents “peace of mind” when it comes to sending kids off to school or gathering in person with extended family members over the upcoming winter holidays.
“We know from our experience with the Delta variant that this virus is unpredictable, and we cannot afford to be complacent,” Beers said Tuesday. “It is critical to use science and data to guide our decisions about the pandemic and school COVID-19 plans. We have also entered flu season, and now have an opportunity for children to receive vaccinations for both the flu and COVID-19, which can be done during a single visit.”
The CDC recommended children aged 5 to 11 be vaccinated against Covid on Tuesday, roughly four days after the FDA authorized Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use in children of that age group. And it looks like parents won’t have to wait long when it comes to getting their child vaccinated. The White House has already said it is prepared to aid in the vaccination of some 28 million children beginning almost immediately after FDA and CDC approval. In fact, many pediatricians and major pharmacy chains are already allowing parents and caregivers to schedule vaccination appointments for children 5 and older.