Aug 15, 2022 Should I Get My Child Vaccinated?

Advice From Pediatric Specialist Dr. Malhotra

Amisha Malhotra, MD
Amisha Malhotra, MD

Amisha Malhotra, MD, Pediatric Infectious Disease Physician at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, explains the effects of COVID in children and importance of vaccination.

As a pediatric infectious disease specialist, one of the questions I often get asked from families and from parents is the need for vaccination of their children. And I can tell you, having seen COVID over the last few years and seen pediatric disease associated with COVID, I highly recommend that children who are eligible to get vaccinated should get vaccinated.

Here at Bristol Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital, we certainly have seen many children hospitalized with COVID, many of them with severe enough disease to have to go to the pediatric ICU.

Millions of doses of the COVID vaccine have been given to children and safety data has been reviewed. The side effects are what we see with most vaccines. At the site, there may be some redness, pain, swelling, headaches, some tiredness, fatigue, maybe muscle aches, and fever as well. But those symptoms usually last one to two days.

Aside from that, there are not that many significant side effects associated from these vaccines. Myocarditis post-COVID vaccine is something that is seen. However, the incidence of that is very minimal. And, remember, COVID itself, and the complications of COVID itself, can give you myocarditis – or inflammation of the heart and lungs – and those rates are probably higher.

Currently, children six months and older are eligible for the COVID vaccine. And, depending on your child’s age, they may be also eligible for a booster dose.

The way that I see COVID currently is: I think it’s here to stay. Whether we’re at a peak or we’re in a valley, the bottom line is we have to protect ourselves, and our families, and our children. And the one way that we can do that is to vaccinate ourselves, vaccinate our kids, and make sure we stay up to date with our vaccines for COVID as well.

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