Vaccination

With children returning to the classroom, many parents find themselves wondering if the COVID-19 vaccine will be available for their kids before they go back to school this fall.

KENANSVILLE — As more adults get vaccinated and mitigation guidelines slowly begin to lift, most of us can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel and picture the day when life can finally go back to some type of normalcy.

With kids returning to the classroom, many parents find themselves wondering if the COVID-19 vaccine will be available for their kids before they go back to school this fall, while others ponder if the risks outweigh the benefits.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studies, while young children infected with COVID-19 tend to have mild or no symptoms, the risk of developing serious complications is still very real. As parents, the best thing we can do to protect our kids from severe illness –– specially those with underlying medical conditions, is simple — vaccinate them.

In a March 31 press release, Pfizer announced the results of their vaccine trials evaluating the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of the vaccine on kids between the ages of 12 and 15. “The Pfizer vaccine demonstrated 100% efficacy and robust antibody responses, exceeding those recorded earlier in vaccinated participants aged 16 to 25 years old, and was well tolerated.”

Pfizer is already conducting studies for vaccines on children ages 2 to 5 and 5 to 11. They anticipate having results available later this year and hope to have the vaccine approved and available in early 2022. Moderna has also launched vaccine trials for children as young as 6 months old and plan to test a few different dosage levels given in two shots.

In Duplin County, kids under the age of 18 represent nearly 24% of the population so it is very important that each one of us do our part to get children vaccinated as soon as the resources become available so that we can be on our way to reaching herd immunity.

Pediatric infectious disease specialists throughout the country, believe that it will require at least 70% of the population to get vaccinated or be immune to it in order to achieve herd immunity.

Abby Cavenaugh may be reached at acavenaugh@ncweeklies.com or 910-296-0239.