As California expands vaccine eligibility to adolescents, parents weigh the risks

Enthusiasm and anxiety are mixed at almost every stage of the deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine in California. However, few groups are as enthusiastic or concerned as the latest parents working on vaccine availability.

Thursday state Expansion of eligibility For COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents aged 12 to 15 years. Los Angeles And in many other counties, people of that age group need to be accompanied or consented to by a parent or guardian to receive the shot.

Some parents are from COVID-19, and its rare but anxious counterpart, multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C.. Ginny Bleedo, who lives in downtown Los Angeles, has already secured her 12-year-old daughter, Iolani, scheduled to be vaccinated in Ralphs on Monday.

“I can go out [to the] Meet movies, libraries, grocery stores, good friends and go to church. That’s a good thing, “Bleedo said.

However, some have expressed hesitation because of the newness of the vaccine. Approved by age group This is because the Food and Drug Administration last week and the coronavirus case rate seems to have already dropped. Some have completely refused to vaccinate their children.

Ronnie Peck, the mother of three in the Sun Valley, said:

40-year-old Peck has not been vaccinated with COVID-19, and her children (9, 7, 3) have said they will not be vaccinated “even if it becomes available to groups under the age of 10”. It was.

“If long-term studies over the next few years determine that the COVID vaccine is really safe, I may reconsider it for both myself and my children,” Peck said, her child. They said they had been vaccinated for most other childhoods. “But in the meantime, I have to choose to do the best for myself and my children. What I think is best for us is the long-term data on this experimental vaccine. Wait until it comes out before making a selection. “

Authorities estimate that about 500,000 children between the ages of 12 and 15 live in Los Angeles County, and about 2.1 million live in the state. Most experts say that vaccination is essential to significantly reduce the amount of virus circulating in the community.

“It’s an important group of individuals we reach to enable greater coverage in terms of the county’s total population,” Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said at a press conference Thursday. It was.

Dr. Eric Ball, a pediatrician at the Orange County Primary Care Network Children’s Hospital, said most of Wednesday he counseled dozens of parents who were hesitant or worried about vaccination of their children.

He assured them that the vaccine was “very effective and very safe,” and said that tens of millions of Americans had already been vaccinated without severe or serious reactions. .. Experience with Johnson & Johnson vaccine — Paused After a handful of recipients experience a blood clot — he said, it should create more confidence in the system’s ability to catch even the rarest side effects.

Ball pediatric practice includes people up to the age of 21. During the pandemic process, he had to hospitalize about half a dozen COVID-19 patients, and one 20-year-old patient almost died of MIS-C, he said. As a parent, and as a doctor, he couldn’t wait for his 12-year-old daughter to make an appointment to receive her shot at CVS.

“Most kids are fine, but I don’t know if you’ll be the one with horrific consequences,” Ball said. “It’s much safer to get the vaccine than to roll the dice with COVID.”

However, some parents may need more persuasiveness.

Recently Kaiser Family Foundation Poll Nearly 25% of US parents with at least one child between the ages of 12 and 15 have stated that they “never vaccinate their children.” About 26% said they would wait to see how it works, and 18% said they would only vaccinate if their child’s school needed it.

Dr. Rochelle Warrensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, acknowledged the hurdles when she left her on Wednesday. Official recommendation Because the vaccine is given to adolescents over 12 years of age.

“Some parents already have plans for young people to get the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Walensky. “Of course, some parents are asking for more information before their child is vaccinated. Parents with questions should consult with their child’s health care provider or family doctor. We encourage you to learn more about vaccines. ”

In California, some parents point out that the number of cases is improving rapidly as a reason for not vaccination of children.This month’s condition is Minimum hospitalization rate Since the first few weeks of the pandemic.

“The number of COVIDs in Los Angeles has plummeted without any children under the age of 16 receiving the COVID vaccine, so groups aged 12 to 15 need to receive the COVID vaccine in order for us to return to normal. I don’t feel it. ” One San Fernando mother demanded that the subject remain anonymous because it was “divided.”

“We’re not anti-taxers, but we don’t feel that our children need a COVID vaccine if COVID is primarily an adult disease,” she added.

The number of cases of COVID-19 is lower in people under the age of 18, but it is not immune to the virus, said Dr. Catherine Williamson, a spokesman for the American Academy of Pediatrics who also practices in California. Stated.

In fact, Williamson says young people have recently begun to present more cases of coronavirus. AAP report found Twenty-four percent of newly reported cases in the week leading up to May 6 were children. By comparison, children have accounted for 14% of cumulative cases since the onset of the pandemic. (The definition of “children” in the report varies from state to state, but most states make up people under the age of 19.)

In the two weeks leading up to May 6, the cumulative number of cases of coronavirus in children also increased by 4% from about 3.71 million on April 22 to about 3.85 million.

“Children are still in the minority, but an increasing minority of cases are becoming positive,” Williamson said, adding that he wanted to reveal to his parents that COVID-19 was not a benign illness. ..

“Thousands of children across the United States were hospitalized with COVID and hundreds of children died,” she said. “That’s not the number I think parents can rest assured of putting their children at risk.”

Los Angeles officials have already begun a partnership with the school to make the vaccine available to young people. This is especially true in areas that are most affected by the virus. Los Angeles Unified School District Support. Austin Boytner called the move “an important part of the road to school recovery.”

“Until children are vaccinated, schools and the wider community will not reach herd immunity,” Boytner said in a statement. Just this month, a fourth-year student at Lanai Road Elementary tested positive for the coronavirus.

So far, the COVID-19 vaccine is not mandatory for students, but the district Shows In future grades, along with MMR, chickenpox and Tdap, it will probably be the necessary vaccination.

When that time came, “we will make difficult decisions,” said Rex Jürgen, a resident of Studio City. He has postponed vaccination of children, 14, 16, 18.

“Ideally, we don’t vaccinate children because the risk level of children with COVID is so small,” says Jurgen. “It seems strange to inject a rarely tested vaccine against a virus that almost certainly does not affect their health or safety.”

Jurgen generally does not oppose the COVID-19 vaccine: he and his older parents received their shots. His children also have a regular course of childhood vaccines.

“I don’t think vaccines are dangerous. They’re simply untested and speculative when compared to their little-recognized benefits,” he added.

In Los Angeles County, 16 and 17 years old have shown “significant interest” in vaccines, and nearly 35% of the age group have already been vaccinated once since vaccination, Feller said. Targeted at least 1 month ago..

She said the reaction to the 12:15 cohort deployment in Los Angeles so far has been “various.” On Tuesday, the county will hold a virtual town hall meeting aimed at answering questions from parents and teens about vaccines.

“In fact, there are cases among children, and it’s important to note that children are particularly vulnerable as community infections increase,” Feller said, with the surge in July and December. In the meantime, 10% to 17% of cases occurred among children under the age of 18.

One parent, DJ Jenkins, who lives in Studio City, said she couldn’t wait to take her daughter for her first dose on Friday — her 12th birthday.

“Being vaccinated, we are helping to stop the epidemic and thereby protect our most vulnerable people,” said Jenkins, who immediately vaccinated his six-year-old son. I want to Current exam I think it’s safe for that age group.

“It’s a way to get back to normal life, and having it for our children after this tough year last year is such a godsend,” Jenkins said of the vaccine. It was.

As California expands vaccine eligibility to adolescents, parents weigh the risks Source link As California expands vaccine eligibility to adolescents, parents weigh the risks

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