Frequently Asked Questions: COVID-19 Vaccine
- Dr. Reddy
We Know You Have Questions About Kansas’s COVID-19 Vaccine Roll Out.
There is a lot of information out there about the COVID vaccine! Take a look at some of the great information Dr. Reddy has to offer about the COVID-19 as it relates to children. If you find you still have questions we encourage you to take a look at the links at the bottom of the page for even more information, or call our office. We are here for you!
Can I get a COVID vaccine if I am breastfeeding my baby?
All of our clinicians at Redbud Pediatrics strongly support breastfeeding women receiving a COVID vaccine as safe and beneficial to both the mother and the infant. One of our own physicians, Dr. Venessa Lopez, was grateful to receive her COVID vaccinations several months ago while breastfeeding her baby. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists supports the COVID vaccine while breastfeeding1. In addition, there was a study published in March 2021 by Harvard showing evidence that lactating women who get the COVID vaccine provide protection to their babies by passing antibodies to C0VID-19 in their breastmilk 2.
Will kids need to get the COVID vaccine?
The short answer is yes. Children make up almost 25% of the population in the United States. Experts estimate that more than 70% of people in the US will need to be vaccinated for us to achieve “herd immunity”3. You can do the math! Vaccinating children will be crucial in helping all children return to school safely and helping our communities regain a sense of normal life. Although children have not been as sick as adults with COVID disease, more than 260 children have died from COVID-194, and thousands more have been hospitalized. We need to vaccinate adults and children alike safely and as quickly as possible to stop the pandemic.
Who is eligible to get the vaccine now?
In Sedgwick County, persons age 16 and older are eligible to receive the vaccine. There are 3 vaccines currently approved for use in the United States. These are the Pfizer vaccine (approved for ages 16 years and older and requires 2 doses), the Moderna vaccine (approved for 18 years and older and requires 2 doses), and the Johnson and Johnson vaccine (approved for 18 years and older and requires one dose only). Sedgwick county residents can schedule a COVID vaccine appointment online at https://www.sedgwickcounty.org/covid-19/vaccine/schedule/
When will we be able to give younger children COVID vaccinations?
Pfizer just announced on that their COVID-19 vaccine works very well in their study of children 12 to 15 years of age5. They plan to submit their data to the FDA and other governing bodies worldwide for review in the next few weeks. There is a good possibility now of receiving approval to begin using the vaccine in this age group before the start of the Fall 2021 school year. Moderna is a currently testing its vaccine in children aged 12 to 17 years of age, and this month both Pfizer and Moderna announced that they have begun vaccine trials in children from 6 months to 11 years of age.
Do we still need to wear masks?
There are so many reasons why the answer is still YES. In order to end the pandemic, we have to follow three reasonable steps. First, more than 70% of us have to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity. Second, we wait to see COVID infections decrease immensely, and then, third, (Hurrah!) we can stop wearing masks. Currently in Sedgwick County, we have only vaccinated about 16% of people, so we are far from our goal. Wearing masks remains critically important in schools where it can be difficult sometimes for children to cooperate with social distancing. Parents have seen this past winter that wearing masks in schools has been easily tolerated by children and very effective at decreasing the spread of COVID-19. As a bonus, wearing masks also almost eradicated Influenza and other respiratory viruses like RSV in school aged children! Another dreadful reason why we all still need to wear masks is the recent confirmation that the B.1.1.7 Covid-19 variant is in Sedgwick County6. The B.1.1.7 Covid variant is more highly contagious and more deadly than other circulating strains of the virus. This variant is an excellent demonstration of why the idea that people should just get COVID-19 disease so that we will have natural immunity is a really bad idea. Let’s all continue to mask up, Wichita!
Sources & Links
- http https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm#AgeAndSexs://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/featured-topic/herd-immunity-and-covid-19