This is in addition to all of their other required shots.
Baltimore, Md (KM) Schools in Frederick County and other nearby jurisdictions have already reopened for another academic year. Health and education officials are strongly urging parents to make sure the children are vaccinated, especially against OCVID-10. “COVID-19 vaccine is not currently a required vaccination for kids returning to school,” says Dr. Jinlene Chan, Deputy Secretary for the Maryland Department of Health. “We think that it’s an important one because of the affects and some of the unknown long term side affects that COVID can cause even in kids that we’re seeing more and more of.”
When returning to school, Dr. Chan says kids heading into kindergarten should be vaccinated against pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox by the age of five. Those going into 7th grade need to be vaccinated against hepatitis, meningococcal and tetanus.
Children as young as six months can get a COVID-19 vaccine, but at a much smaller dose than what is administered to an adult.
There are people who say that COVID does not affect children, but mostly older adults who often end up in the hospital. But Dr. Chan says kids are not immune to this virus. “You also have to look at the fact that COVID has impacted kids. We have seen in the US over 140,000 children who are hospitalized, and more than 1700 have also died from COVID-19,” she says. The Maryland Department of Health says these statistics cover the time since the pandemic began more than two years ago.
“What we saw with the hospitalizations is that while a number of them did have underlying health conditions to begin with, about 50% really were healthy,” Dr. Chan continues. “They were healthy children; had no other underlying illness.”
She also acknowledges that some children are immuno-compromised, or have had a negative reaction to vaccines. But they can be protected by masking, preventing exposure and other measures.
Parents who want more information on COVID-19 vaccines for their kids should consult with the children’s pediatrician. “Most pediatricians have COVID-19 vaccinations and it is safe to get a COVID-19 vaccination or a booster at the same time that they’re getting other childhood vaccinations,”: says Dr. Chan.
For more information on COVID-19 vaccinations for children, parents can go on line to marylandvax.org.
By Kevin McManus