ADH : Kids should receive COVID-19 shot as soon as they are eligible


ARKANSAS, (KNWA/KFTA) — Nearly 40% of kids between the ages of 12 to 18 are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccine may soon be available for those younger than 12.

State Epidemiologist, Dr. Jennifer Dillaha expects the vaccine to become available for kids between the ages 5 and 11 early next month if approved.

Until then, the ADH is urging parents to take action as soon as their kids are eligible to get the COVID-19 shot. Adding that getting the vaccine is another layer of protection for them.

She says that over time, as the delta variant spread in Arkansas there have been more cases of COVID-19 found in children. Dr. Dillaha says that kids who got COVID-19 and ended up in the hospital have been sicker than before.

She adds that kids have a range of symptoms from minimal sniffles to serious breathing problems.

“The more kids that are immune to COVID-19 the less spread there will be at school, sports, after-school activities, and the less spread there will be in their households,” said Dr. Dillaha.

Right now, kids 12 and older are able to get the COVID-19 shot.

A panel of the FDA is expected to meet on October 26. The CDC advisory committee will meet early next month to discuss the Pfizer vaccine for those 5 to 11.

Dr. Dillaha does note the dose will be smaller for that age group.

She adds if the vaccine gets the green light it could be available to kids in early November.

Now, that’s not the only shot to keep in mind. Flu season is upon us and with the pandemic, you don’t want to delay getting your family vaccinated.

The flu affects people in different ways. It can be mild or pretty severe. The ADH says getting the flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and the kiddos.

Influenza is a respiratory illness that infects the nose, throat, and lungs. Dr. Jennifer Dillaha says the flu vaccine is recommended for everyone, 6 months and older.

The ADH says it will reduce the risks of getting the flu, hospitalization and flu-related death in children.

She adds that getting the flu shot will not impact when you get your COVID-19 shot

“Kids can get a COVID vaccine and flu vaccine on the same visit and so that will be convenient for families to do both at the same time”

Things to keep in mind to protect your children from getting sick. Remind them to stay away from people who are sick to cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and to wash their hands often. They should also avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth.

If your child is sick keep them home from school to not get others sick.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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