(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Area pediatricians urge parents and community members to get vaccinated as emergency departments see increase in child admissions.
In an interview on CBS's Face The Nation, top U.S. Health officials said COVID-19 vaccine trials for children aged 5-11 years old are underway and the vaccine could be ready for authorization by Halloween.
However, until then, local pediatric nurse practitioners from Peacock Pediatrics said a difference can be made now in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic impacting children.
“Even though those kids can’t get vaccinated, the adults and adolescents around them can get vaccinated and that is shown to help them stay safe and healthy,” said Sarah Sass, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner for Peacock Pediatrics.
A recent CDC study found states with low vaccination rates have higher rates of pediatric emergency room visits and admissions.
As of Monday, Buchanan County is sitting at a low and stagnant rate of 24.2% of residents partially vaccinated.
Sass said not everyone's child will become severely ill from the virus, but others won't roll such a lucky dice.
“You know my concern is most kids handle getting COVID-19 well. So, when I have parents tell me, ‘well most kids aren’t getting that sick.’ But, if your child doesn’t fall in that most kids group and your child is the one hospitalized and needs critical care, then that changes things,” said Sass.
Health officials said until the end of October rolls around, they ask those unvaccinated to roll up their sleeve.
“I think we still need to be very vigilant about getting our community vaccinated because that’s what is really going to help put this pandemic behind us,” said Sass.
According to a recent report by the American Academy of Pediatrics, 1 in 4 COVID-19 cases are among children.
Peacock Pediatrics are recommending the vaccine for children once the FDA grants authorization, but advise families to speak with their health care provider.