Massachusetts Medical Society: As virus spreads, it’s critical to vaccinate children

As virus spreads, it’s critical to vaccinate children

The recent uptick in COVID-19 cases among Massachusetts residents is being driven by the Delta variant, which we know can be blunted by vaccination. It is critical – especially as we enter the holidays, cold and flu season, and colder weather – that we make every effort to prevent spread of the virus and to limit interruption from illness and quarantine to in-person learning and other activities vital to the whole health of the child. Our best tool to accomplish this remains vaccination.

There is an immediate action parents and guardians can take to protect their children and ensure that in-person learning and other activities essential for emotional and mental health and development continue with as little disruption as possible. If your children are over the age of 5, please get them vaccinated.

We know that the lower-dose, Food and Drug Administration-authorized vaccine is safe and highly effective. Rare and minimal side effects from the vaccine are vastly outweighed by the efficacy and the resultant added level of protection provided to your child and community.

It is understandable and appropriate for a parent to have questions and concerns about the vaccine, and we encourage those parents to seek valid and data-supported information from trusted sources. Speak with your child’s health care provider to talk through your understanding about the vaccine and to help make an informed decision about the best course of action for your children.

There has never been a more crucial time to take this safe and effective step toward protecting children and those with whom they interact at home, in school, and in their communities.

-Carole E. Allen, MD, MBA, FAAP, President and President, Massachusetts Medical Society

-Lloyd Fisher, MD, FAAP, President, Mass. Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics

-Julie Johnston, MD, FAAFP, President, Mass. Academy of Family Physicians

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