Doctors recommend kids get vaccinated before school resumes


FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Kids will be returning to school this week and doctors are urging parents to vaccinate their kids for the new semester.

According to the Arkansas Department of Health, 43.8% of kids ages 12-18 are fully vaccinated and about 6% of kids ages 5-11 are fully immunized. Dr. Kevin Davis with Mercy Ft. Smith said there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding vaccines for kids in this age group.

“The adverse effects from COVID-19 exceed that of vaccination, the vaccine is safer than the infection itself,” Davis said.

A recently released report from the CDC found that the pediatric vaccine was safe and effective. Out of more than 8.7 million pediatric doses given out, most kids had only mild side effects. Arkansas Secretary of Health, Dr. Jose Romero, said serious side effects from the vaccine in kids were very rare.

“The inflammatory response that were seeing in the heart, myocarditis, were not seeing increases in the number of cases in children that are receiving these vaccines,” Romero said.

Most Northwest Arkansas and River Valley Schools do not have mask mandates currently in place. Dr. Davis said masks along with other safety measures should be considered when heading into the new year.

“Whether that be physical distancing, whether it be clustering of students, whether that be masking, I think any of those things are good ideas,” Davis said.

Davis said he is a dad himself and feels confident getting his child vaccinated.

“I have no qualms about getting my child who’s in that age range vaccinated and I don’t think that other people should have that reservation either,” Davis said.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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