Childhood vaccines protect against not just severe illness but prevent disease outbreaks that can interrupt classroom learning. That’s one reason why ADHS and our partners encourage parents to get their children current on required immunizations as well as COVID-19 vaccination.
The pandemic has made it more difficult to stay current on routine medical care. With many children now on summer recess, this is a good time to change that by making an appointment with your health care provider or scheduling vaccinations at a neighborhood pharmacy or clinic. If your child is age 5 or older, please make sure COVID-19 vaccination is part of your plans.
This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added kids ages 5-11 to those recommended for a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose at least five months past their primary vaccination.
More than 200,000 of the 645,000 Arizona children in this age group have received the COVID-19 vaccine. We’d like that to be higher. COVID-19 vaccines have proven again and again to be safe and highly effective at reducing the chances of severe outcomes. In addition, people who are vaccinated are far less likely to test positive for COVID-19.
Because the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination wanes over time, a booster dose helps make sure your child’s immune protection is up to date, just as it does for adults. Children are far less likely to get severely ill from COVID-19, but it does happen. In addition, schools with more vaccinated children are likely to have fewer COVID-19 outbreaks that disrupt learning and put more vulnerable members of families at risk.
Vaccines have allowed us to largely banish potentially severe illnesses such as measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, and polio. COVID-19 vaccines can accomplish the same. If you have questions about the benefits of vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine, please consult your health care provider.
We have hundreds of convenient COVID-19 vaccine providers listed at azhealth.gov/FindVaccine. You’ll find information and answers to common questions at azhealth.gov/VaccinesForKids.