Lobby to get children vaccinated as cases rise in children

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) – According to the Kern County Public Health Department, nearly 600 children aged five to 11 in Kern County have already received their first dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine since its approval on Tuesday latest.

The vaccine trial tested the vaccine in about 4,000 children in this age group and showed a 91% success rate in preventing symptomatic cases of COVID-19.

In California, 30 children have died from COVID-19, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), because the virus continues to mutate, children are at increased risk of hospitalization. Not to mention the common long-term effects in children.

“I have two patients in my care who have had MIS (multisystem inflammatory syndrome) and two who have long symptoms of COVID,” said Dr. Kelly Hughes, pediatrician and associate medical director at Omni Family Health. “So they’re 10 months away and they still can’t taste or smell, or they’re always tired or have a sore throat. So yes, although it’s rare, if it’s your child, it is. is quite important. “

What is multisystem inflammatory syndrome?

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a condition in which different parts of the body can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. We do not yet know what causes MIS-C. However, we do know that many children with MIS-C had the virus that causes COVID-19, or had been around someone with COVID-19. MIS-C can be serious and even fatal, but most children diagnosed with this condition have improved with medical care.

– Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention

Dr Hughes is a mother herself and said her 11-year-old daughter was thrilled to receive the vaccine. Her 5-year-old was not as excited about getting the vaccine, but said she was fine afterwards, and as a parent Dr Hughes was relieved.

Dr Hughes said her 11-year-old son contracted COVID 3 weeks ago and, like other parents in this situation, wondered whether she should wait to get him vaccinated.

“When he gets exposed the next time, he won’t have to quarantine himself. He won’t have to stay home for two weeks.”

Dr Hughes also said his children reacted very little to the vaccine.

Why children and teens should get the COVID-19 vaccine

Although COVID-19 tends to be milder in children than in adults, it can make children very sick and lead to hospitalization. In some situations, complications from the infection can lead to death.

Although children are at a lower risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19 compared to adults, children can

  • Being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19
  • Getting very sick from COVID-19
  • Have short and long term health complications from COVID-19
  • Spreading COVID-19 to Others

Children with underlying health conditions are at greater risk of contracting serious illness from COVID-19 than children without underlying health conditions. Children who are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 can also develop serious complications like multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), a disease in which different parts of the body become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, and lungs. kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.

– Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention

The push to get children immunized comes at a time when the Bakersfield City School District COVID Dashboard shows a bump in positive cases in October.

Not everyone has the vaccine available right now. But Michelle Corson of the public health department said Kern County has plenty of them and is ready to vaccinate this age group.

“We have also set up a coloring station for children because there are 15 or 30 minutes you have to wait during the observation time after vaccination and therefore we have set up activities where children can enjoy themselves. sit socially and color. “

Corson also discussed the importance of speaking with your pediatrician and making sure your information is from trusted sources.

Dr Hughes agreed, saying there are a lot of misconceptions often found online that parents have raised as a concern. One of them is infertility.

“Infertility isn’t something that happens. It doesn’t stay in your body. It doesn’t fit into your children’s DNA. It’s not something we see with disease, so why would you see her with the vaccine anyway. “

Facts about COVID-19 mRNA vaccines

COVID-19 mRNA vaccines cannot give someone the virus that causes COVID-19 or other viruses.

  • MRNA vaccines do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19 and cannot cause infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 or other viruses.

They do not affect or interact with our DNA in any way.

  • MRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell where our DNA (genetic material) is located, so it cannot change or influence our genes.

MRNA and spike protein do not last long in the body.

  • Our cells break down mRNA and get rid of it a few days after vaccination.
  • Scientists believe that the spike protein, like other proteins created by our body, can stay in the body for up to a few weeks.

– Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention

The vaccine for children is only 1/3 of the adult dose. It is a two-part vaccine with three week intervals.

Dr Hughes said that with the holidays approaching, it’s a good idea to do it earlier so your kids can have some protection when these gatherings begin.

The dosage for children is available at some clinics and pediatricians in Kern County.

One of them is at the Kern County Fairgrounds, which opens at 10:30 a.m., where they will also have the flu shot.

The fairground clinic administered 593 doses to children aged 5 to 11 and over the weekend Omni Family Health also held a vaccination clinic in Tehachapi for children.

The vaccine is known to cause some discomfort such as fever, body aches and fatigue. But Dr Hughes said there were several reasons children weren’t responding to shooting as much.

“Children’s bodies are supposed to create this immunity for life, so we see where they can develop a good immune response equal to that of adults, with 1/3 the dose. Which also means there is much less. of problems with her in terms of fever and fatigue. “

Dr Hughes added that parents should also not pre-medicate their children before they get vaccinated.

“You don’t want to give them Motrin or Tylenol before they get the vaccine because you don’t know how they’re going to react. And if they have a fever, if they’re going to be in pain, that’s fine 8 , 12, 24 hours later, you just give them medicine that is not needed. “

Preparing children and adolescents for vaccination

The experience of obtaining a COVID-19 vaccine will be very similar to the experience of obtaining routine vaccines. Use our tips to support your child before, during and after routine immunizations when they receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Talk to your child about what to expect before the vaccination.
  • It is not recommended to give pain relievers before vaccination to try to prevent side effects.
  • Tell the doctor or nurse about any allergies your child may have.
  • To avoid fainting and injury from fainting, your child should be sitting or lying down during the vaccination and for 15 minutes after the vaccine is given.
  • After your child’s COVID-19 vaccination, you will be asked to stay for 15 to 30 minutes so that your child can be observed in case they have a severe allergic reaction and need immediate treatment.

– Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention

But what if your child is right on the cut-off date and takes the lowest dose now, but turns 12 by the time the second dose is due?

“They would get the 11-year dose now and the 12-year dose later when they are 12,” Dr Hughes explained.

But she noted that the American Academy of Pediatrics has said to go ahead and stay with the lower dose, so she recommends that parents contact their child’s doctor and consider their health history. their child.

The Kern County Public Health Department has echoed this as well, for any concerns parents may have.

“It’s a trusted source, it’s a relationship you’ve established, and ask your questions because there is so much misinformation online and we really want to warn families not to search for all of your information online or on social networks but talk to your doctor, ”Corson says.

Because the vaccine dosage is different, not all vaccine suppliers have it available yet. You can find those that do in County Kern online.

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