State health officials urge parents to get kids vaccinated for COVID-19 before school starts
LANSING, Mich. (WNEM) - The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services spent their Thursday afternoon trying to answer concerns many may have about the COVID-19 vaccine as kids prepare to head back to the classroom.
Health officials are urging parents to get their children vaccinated before the start of the school year.
Especially kids under the age of five.
“If you were thinking, you know, maybe we’ll just wait it out. Maybe the pandemic will be over, and we will never have to get vaccinated we can sit this one out. Covid is not going away and in fact, we are predicting surges of infection in the fall and in the winter,” said Chief Medical Executive for the state of Michigan Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian.
“We know young children are very likely to spread the virus and as we go back to school, back to daycare, back to summer camps and sports these are high likelihood places for spread. And using this tool can make this disease very easy and tolerable for young children. And their families,” said Dr. Amy Hepper from Michigan Medicine.
The surge in COVID-19 cases is being driven by the omicron subvariant BA.5, the most transmissible strain of the coronavirus.
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic among us children aged six months to four years of age, there have been over 2 million cases of COVID-19 over 20,000 hospitalizations and over 200 deaths. And for me those numbers are enough to really convince I think many parents about the importance of this vaccine and this particular age group,” said Veronica McNally from the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
Officials say many parents are concerned about the risk of myocarditis after vaccination but say the risk of adverse cardiac outcomes are actually higher after COVID-19.
“For those parents who are on the fence about this vaccine because of that particular risk, I want to make sure that you know, that we we feel very comfortable with this vaccine in spite of any any potential risk for myocarditis,” McNally said.
Everyone 6 months and older is eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, and those 5 and older are eligible for a booster.
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