Bay County pediatricians pleased with COVID vaccine milestone

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BAY COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) — The CDC recommends COVID vaccines for children ages five to 11 and Bay County pediatricians are pleased with the development.

On the other hand, though, some parents are not celebrating.

“This is a huge milestone,” said Bay County Pediatrician Doctor Rubina Azam.

Azam sees COVID-19 as a vaccine-preventable disease. The only people still ineligible to receive the shot are children four and under.

“COVID-19 is generally a mild disease for children, but some kids can develop complications,” Azam said. “They can develop inflammatory diseases and it’s hard to predict which kids are going to have the complications.”

Although some kids show mild signs of the virus, hospitalization may be necessary for those with underlying health conditions. Azam said the vaccine provides more protection than masks for school-aged kids.

“Some kids had bad asthma attacks, some kids had pneumonia and bad bronchitis,” said Azam. 

The dosage for the COVID-19 vaccine between ages 5 to 11 is a little bit lower. It is 10 micrograms per shot and there are two of those three weeks apart.

“Which means you’re going to get a good response from the vaccine,” said Azam. “You’re going to have a good antibody response, but hopefully, you aren’t going to have side effects.”

Baldwin Pediatrics has a long list of parents interested in vaccinating their kids. But even after losing a loved one to the virus, local parent Jessica Hill still is not so sure about vaccines.

“I believe that we are building herd immunity,” said Hill. “I think things are too premature before I am going to inject something in my children’s bodies that could possibly kill them or give them side effects which will be everlasting.”

Depending on the success rate a year from now, Hill said she will reconsider vaccinations.

Bay District School officials said they will not provide vaccine clinics on-campus. They encourage parents to consult their family doctor or pediatrician. Below is their entire statement in full.

“Per the continued direction from Governor DeSantis, Bay District Schools encourages parents and guardians to explore all of the available options for prevention of the spread of Covid-19 and to make the best decisions possible for their children. We are aware that some providers are beginning to make vaccines available to children ages five to eleven years old and we encourage parents to talk with their personal healthcare providers about the options available for their children. At this time, we do not have any plans to have school-based vaccine clinics for students but we continue to encourage our parents/guardians, students and employees to consult their own personal medical experts with questions about the prevention of Covid-19.”

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

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