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Oregon Family Magazine

Should I Vaccinate My Kids Against COVID-19?

08/02/2021 ● By Pilar Bradshaw, M.D., F.A.A.P.
At Eugene Pediatric Associates, my fellow pediatricians and I talk daily with parents who have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, now recommended by the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics for children 12 years and older. With so much misinformation circulating, we understand why parents may be struggling with whether to vaccinate their kids.

We continue to vigilantly monitor ongoing research and information, and we remain solidly in favor of vaccinating children as they become eligible. Here’s why:

  • Sars-CoV-2, known as COVID-19, is now ranked as one of the top 10 causes of death in children in the United States.
  • According to data, about 4 million children in the U.S. have been diagnosed since the pandemic started, resulting in tens of thousands of hospitalizations and at least 300 deaths.
  • More than 20% of new COVID-19 cases are in children.
  • COVID-19 infection can cause multisystem inflammatory condition (MSI-C), a life-threatening inflammatory response in multiple major body organs that has hospitalized thousands of kids.  
  • Children have developed “long haul COVID-19”—prolonged, severe symptoms of the disease. 
  • COVID-19 is still so new that we do not know the long-term effects of the illness on children. Some kids with mild symptoms have extremely abnormal chest X-rays, and we cannot project how their inflamed lungs or hearts will fare in the future. Also, research has shown severe internal scarring can occur from COVID-19 infection.
  • Some research suggests a connection between the coronavirus and erectile disfunction in men. It’s not known how fertility may be affected in men who contract COVID as boys; however, it is important to note that reports of infertility linked to the coronavirus vaccine are unfounded.  

Typical vaccine side effects in children are similar to those that adults experience: sore arm, fatigue, fever and headache. Severe reactions to the vaccine among kids, including myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle), appear to be rare and most cases have resolved with ibuprofen and rest.

Please talk with your pediatrician and get the facts, so that you can make an informed decision for your children.