Jerome Adams, MD, who was U.S. surgeon general under former President Donald Trump, said Wednesday that his 11-year-old daughter will get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks, he said, supporting health officials’ decision on Tuesday to approve Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5-11. More than 28 million children will be eligible for a shot.
“It’s really just about doing everything we can to protect our children and give them the best possible chance of growing up healthy and strong,” Adams told Fox News.
Since the pandemic began, more than 8,300 COVID-19 hospitalizations and 94 deaths have been reported among ages 5-11.
“The risk is lower to kids than it is to adults,” he said, “but lower risk does not mean no risk.”
In September, COVID-19 was the sixth leading cause of death for children, he noted.
“And as parents, we do things every day to protect our kids from risks that are remote, or things that don’t seem like they’re large risks,” he said. “We put our kids in seatbelts, we have them wear bicycle helmets, we put sunscreen on them to protect them from skin cancer 60 years down the road.”
The pediatric version of Pfizer’s vaccine has the same ingredients as the adult version but is a third of the dose, with 10 micrograms per shot instead of 30 micrograms.
Among the 3,000 children in the Pfizer clinical trial, most developed antibodies as strong as the levels seen in teens and young adults. They reported similar side effects, such as a fever and sore arm.
Myocarditis, the most serious but rare side effect linked to the vaccine, is more common among boys ages 12-15. But no cases occurred during clinical trials for ages 5-11.
“The biggest reason that my own daughter wanted to get vaccinated is because it’s going to decrease the chance that she’s going to have to quarantine and miss school and miss sports,” Adams said. “There’s a real social benefit to kids being vaccinated.”
Getting vaccinated before seeing family members for the holidays is also a plus, he noted, since gathering indoors could lead to an increase in cases this winter.
“The idea that your kid being vaccinated can decrease the chances of them transmitting to a loved family member, I think, is an important reason to get them vaccinated,” he said.
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Content Source: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/962317?src=rss