The Nevada Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (Nevada AAP), Immunize Nevada, the Nevada State Medical Association (NSMA), and the Nevada Academy of Family Physicians (NAFP) released a joint statement this week encouraging parents and caregivers to get children vaccinated against COVID-19.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is the best tool we have in stopping this epidemic,” explained, Vanessa Slots MD, FAAP, President of the Nevada Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than six million children have been infected with this virus, and children have suffered in numerous other ways including disruptions to their education, harm to their mental and emotional health, and greatly diminished access to critical medical services. Vaccinating kids is an essential step in protecting all of Nevada’s children.”
At the end of October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for children 5 to 11 years of age, to be administered as a two-dose primary series, three weeks apart, at 10 micrograms per dose. Nevada began vaccinating children in the 5 to 11 age group on November 10, and approximately 20,000 kids have received the first dose to date.
“Now that younger Nevadans have the ability to get vaccinated, it’s key to do so to further control the spread of COVID-19 and prevent additional unnecessary learning disruptions,” said Heidi Parker, Executive Director of Immunize Nevada. “Widespread vaccination for this age group is the next step in decreasing cases and protecting the health of the public.”
The FDA’s data evaluation of safety studies found that the immune response of children 5 through 11 was 90.7% effective in preventing COVID-19. The safety of the vaccine was evaluated in more than 3,000 children ages 5 through 11 who received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and no serious side effects have been detected.
“It’s imperative for parents and caregivers to get their children vaccinated to best protect their health, the health of their loved ones, and their surrounding communities,” said Andrew Pasternak, MD, President of the Nevada State Medical Association. “We strongly encourage those who are hesitant to consult with their health care provider to address specific questions concerning the vaccine.”
The Nevada AAP, Immunize Nevada, NSMA, and NAFP emphasize that as positivity rates in the states fluctuate, vaccines are crucial to protecting public health in time for the holiday season.
“Vaccines are essential to safeguarding holiday gatherings this year as many are planning to leave virtual get-togethers and celebrate in person,” said Troy Bertoli, MD, president of the Nevada Academy of Family Physicians. “We urge parents and caregivers to get their kids vaccinated. It’s our best shot at a safe and happy holiday season this year and for years to come.”
For information about COVID-19 vaccine appointments and locations, please visit nvcovidfighter.org.
About Immunize Nevada
Immunize Nevada is widely recognized as Nevada’s trusted resource for immunizations and community health for all ages by fostering education and statewide collaboration. Immunize Nevada’s vision is healthy communities across Nevada protected from vaccine-preventable disease. For more information, visit ImmunizeNevada.org.