6 reasons for getting kids 5-11 vaccinated
1: Protect children from Covid-19 illness, hospitalization and death
Canadian pediatric cases have been lower because we have been through extended lockdowns and schools were closed in many provinces. However, in the US, among children 5-11, there have been 1.8 million cases, 8622 hospitalizations and 143 deaths due to Covid-19. This vastly exceeds illness caused by influenza.
2: Protect children from long-term effects of Covid-19, such as MIS-C and long Covid
5217 children in the US were diagnosed with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C), half were children 5-13 years of age. 90% of MIS-C cases have complications involving at least four organ systems, 58% are admitted to ICU. 33,000 children in the UK have long Covid and 4.4% of children with COVID-19 reported persistent symptoms.
3: We cannot predict which children will end up having severe illness or long Covid
Although comorbidities increase the risk of severe COVID-19 and hospitalization among children, 1/3rd of children who are hospitalized for COVID-19 do not have any underlying comorbidities. Important to protect the entire 5-11 population from the unpredictable symptomatic, severe, or long . consequences of COVID-19 disease.
4: Allowing children to get back to doing the things they love and miss
Getting children vaccinated as soon as they’re eligible will help them get back to what they love, including spending time with grandparents, hanging out with their friends, playdates, extracurricular activities etc. It would also reduce schools disruptions . and closures due to outbreaks.
5: Benefits of vaccinating far outweigh the risks
The clinical trials showed that the vaccines produced robust neutralizing antibodies in children. In the trials, no new side effects were noted. Myocarditis and pericarditis have been identified at a rate of 3-8 cases per million doses after vaccination. These tend to be mild. Myocarditis after Covid-19 infections are thought to be 6x higher than vaccinations in young males and more severe. We do not expect to see long-term side effects, no impact to DNA, hormones or fertility.
6: Herd immunity, community protection and pathway back to normalcy
Indirect benefits of vaccinations will reduce onward transmission to household members, especially if immunocompromised or too young to be immunized. Vaccinated people transmit Covid-19 at a lower rate than unvaccinated. It will also allow us to get closer to herd immunity and offer community wide protection and a pathway back to normalcy.