Local pediatricians discuss COVID-19 vaccines for the 5-11 age group

If this age group is approved, 94% of the U.S. population will be eligible for the vaccine.
Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 10:33 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - As soon as Wednesday, local pediatricians could be giving out COVID-19 vaccine shots to children 5 through 11-years-old.

Chief Medical Officer for East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Dr. Joe Childs, said, “We think this vaccine is best administered in their primary care physician’s office.”

Dr. Childs said pediatric offices statewide should order the vaccine so families can go directly to their primary care physician.

He said in studies children had mild symptoms of the shot including sore arms, aches, fever and fatigue.

Dr. Childs still recommends everyone get the vaccine after seeing a rise in pediatric hospitalizations during this delta surge.

“We worry about complications with COVID like the MIS-C that is often talked about. There are even conversations about long COVID which are prolonged symptoms after you’ve had COVID,” Dr. Childs said.

If this age group receives approval, this means most school-aged children will be eligible for the vaccine.

Dr. Kathryn Edwards with Vanderbilt University said, depending on the situation, school districts could reconsider their masking policies.

“As more get vaccinated and the contagion goes down, then we indeed may be thinking about removing masks,” Dr. Edwards said.

Doctors are recommending children with heart defects, asthma and any form of pediatric cancer get the vaccine.

Dr. Edwards is pushing for all children to get the vaccine including her younger grandkids.

“I have 5 grandchildren in this age group and I hope they’re the first in line to get the vaccine,” Dr. Edwards said.

If this age group is approved, 94% of the U.S. population will be eligible for the vaccine.

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