Coronavirus Updates Public Health

Physicians: COVID-19 vaccine ‘extremely safe’ for ages 5-11

Parents are encouraged to vaccinate kids between the ages of 5-11 as soon as doses become available, pediatric specialists at AdventHealth for Children said on today’s AdventHealth News Briefing.

“There’s 28 million children in the age group of 5 to 11 and none of them should die from a vaccine preventable disease,” said Dr. Michael Keating, chief medical officer of AdventHealth for the Children. “We can beat COVID. These kids need to be vaccinated.”

Keating said the health care system plans to order doses of the vaccine for children as soon as they are available and will provide more information soon about when and where those will be distributed.

The dose for the younger age group is about a third of the size of the adult dose after studies determined the lower dose is “extremely safe” and highly effective for children, he said.

While many children are asymptomatic or show few symptoms when they are infected with COVID-19, the summer Delta surge revealed how vulnerable young kids could be as the virus continues to mutate, said Dr. Fatma Levent, medical director of infectious disease at AdventHealth for Children.

“Kids can get very sick,” she said. “We have had multiple very sick kids with prolonged hospitalization.”

Levent also noted that children should be vaccinated because they can spread the illness to other family members who are potentially more vulnerable.

We encourage you to refer to the video by downloading it here and pull direct quotes from Keating and Levent.