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Doctor: Vaccine is another tool to stop kids spreading germs

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have signed off on children 5-years-old and younger to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.
Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 4:07 PM EDT
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SAGINAW, Mich. (WNEM) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have signed off on children 5-years-old and younger to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers will start receiving COVID-19 vaccines this week.

Doctors are not only recommending parents to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19, but also catch up on any other missed vaccinations.

“They may not share their toys, but man, they’re good at sharing their germs,” said Dr. Dennis Cunningham, pediatrician and director of infection prevention and control at Henry Ford Health.

The vaccine for 18 million of the youngest Americans, down to 6-months-old, received the CDC director’s approval over the weekend.

Cunningham welcomes the expansion.

“Kids go to preschool. They share their germs. They bring it home to parents and grandparents. So this is another tool to help us as we prepare for future variants and future surges,” Cunningham said.

Doctor’s offices, hospitals, and community health clinics will soon receive child-sized doses of Moderna. The recommendation is two doses one month apart. Health facilities will also receive doses of Pfizer, which requires three doses over a three-month period.

Cunningham said in his experience, vaccine protection is superior to natural immunity.

“We’re seeing a whole lot more covid in kids than we’re seeing anything else out there. Including flu, chicken pox, measles, mumps, rubella,” Cunningham said.

He said the pandemic caused a lull in routine vaccinations.

“Across the entire country, there was a drop in the number of people receiving all their recommended vaccines on time. We still haven’t caught up to that yet. It was for the whole country, Michigan is not an exception,” Cunningham said.

A lapse in vaccinations could overwhelm health systems down the road.

“One of the public health worries if we don’t keep people vaccinated, are we going to get more outbreaks of things like whooping cough, measles, or mumps? Things that we really don’t want to see on top of Covid,” Cunningham said.

The hope is parents catch up on shots they may have missed for their kids, while also getting their covid vaccine.

Cunningham said it is safe to combine them.

“I would encourage parents, get your kids all the vaccines that are recommended,” Cunningham said.