Tucson doctor explains pros and cons of kids getting COVID-19 vaccine

KOLD News 10-10:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 10:40 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A Tucson pediatrician wants parents to know the COVID-19 vaccine is safe for children.

“It’s very understandable to have reservations about yet another vaccine for kids,” said Dr. Sean Elliott, a Pediatric Infectious Disease expert at Tucson Medical Center.

He says he gets it, making a decision about putting another vaccine into your kid’s body can be scary. But, he wants to reassure parents that it’s safe, the science backs it up.

“The science behind mRNA vaccines is not new. It’s decades old,” said Elliott. “I started learning about it in my early training back in the ‘90s.”

He said the vaccine is safe and effective at preventing serious illness and hospitalization.

“The amount of research that has gone into confirming the safety of the new formulation of the COVID vaccine is enormous, as has the amount of caution shown by the FDA and CDC” said Elliott.

He says vaccinating the younger generation is key because of how easily they can spread the virus.

“The biggest impact of the childhood vaccine is not just childhood health, which is important but, also health of caretakers and out communities,” said Elliott.

Data from the Arizona Department of Health Services shows that kids are less likely to be severely infected by COVID and even less likely to die because of it.

“The very rare risk of mild symptoms of infection after vaccine, it pales in comparison to actually being sick,” said Elliott.

He still sees children suffering from long-hauler COVID symptoms that hinder their ability to focus in school and make it nearly impossible to participle in sports.

“The only way through this, to get out of the state of emergency and to stop wearing these things [masks] is to get everyone vaccinated,” said Elliott.

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