Two vaccines to protect children from COVID-19 have now been approved for infants and children; Pfizer can be given to individuals who are six months through four years and Moderna can be given to individuals who are six months through five years. Use and administration of these vaccines has enthusiastic support from us at Friday Harbor Family Clinic.
Although infection in children is less severe in children, more than 40,000 kids have been hospitalized and more than 1,000 have died through the course of the pandemic. Children are at risk of significant complications. More than 8,500 children have suffered a rare but serious condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C). This condition is associated with Covid-19 and can cause inflammation of the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, eyes and other organs.
These newly released vaccine products have been proven to be safe and effective in both protecting against serious illness and mitigating the spread of disease to others. Aside from protecting children, vaccination also makes sense for the greater good, in that they can further reduce community spread—particularly to those most vulnerable. Vaccination can help protect the elderly and immunocompromised individuals who may share homes with this newly eligible group. Additionally, vaccination can help our community to safely keep our schools open and prevent the spread of disease in classrooms.
Our colleagues at the San Juan County Health Department (Health and Community Services) are your best source for accurate and reliable information about these vaccines, including when and where they will be available for this age group. The Health Department can also provide accurate information on all aspects of COVID-19 infection: Please visit their website, https://www.sanjuanco.com/1668/2019-Novel-Coronavirus .
The American Academy of Pediatrics is also a reliable source of information: https://www.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/
Heather Christensen PA-C
Mark Fishaut MD FAAP
San Juan Island