Commentary: Six reasons to vaccinate teens against COVID-19

By Devon Ebbing

Elation. Reduction. Hope. I felt all of these items as I watched the COVID-19 vaccine enter my 14-year-old daughter’s arm.

As a mother or father and a pediatrician, I’m thrilled that adolescents aged 12 to 15 at the moment are eligible for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Getting teenagers vaccinated retains them wholesome and protects weak members of our neighborhood. I’ve reviewed the out there knowledge on the vaccine and really feel assured in giving it to my youngsters and my sufferers.  The vaccine has plenty of advantages, however listed here are the highest ones from my perspective:

No. 1: It retains children secure from severe sickness. Whereas the coronavirus causes gentle signs in most adolescents, deaths and long-term well being injury do happen, although not often. There aren’t any fool-proof therapies for COVID-19. Youngsters who develop MIS-C issues are in danger for lifelong lung and blood vessel injury. New knowledge on long-COVID in adolescents is rising. Whereas many children find yourself being simply tremendous, when your individual baby is affected or loses the prospect for a traditional life the statistics don’t matter.

No. 2: It reduces transmission. Vaccinated persons are a lot much less prone to unfold the virus. Getting vaccinated is a public service as a result of it retains weak people from getting sick — everybody from infants, to most cancers sufferers, to folks taking immunosuppressant medicine.

No. 3: It protects athletic endeavors. As a result of COVID-19 can improve the danger of coronary heart irritation and blood clots, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children who’ve a average to extreme an infection be screened by a physician earlier than restarting athletics. Many adolescents depend on sports activities for his or her social and psychological well being. Vaccination protects their our bodies to allow them to keep energetic now and sooner or later.

No. 4: It permits a return to wholesome actions. From age 12 to 18, children are making social connections and dealing on the communication abilities they’ll use for the remainder of their life. Vaccinated children can safely get again to participating within the teams and occasions which are so vital for his or her social growth.

No. 5: It reduces stress. Many children fear about getting sick or making a beloved one sick. Vaccination relieves that anxiousness and permits them to comfortably take part at school, sports activities and different extracurricular actions.

No. 6: It mitigates teenage risk-taking. Youngsters’ brains are at a developmental stage the place they’re keen to take dangers. Adolescents in my observe have gotten sick after breaking their dad and mom’ pandemic precautions. Vaccination permits dad and mom to really feel assured that their household is nicely protected.

After I received the shot in December, I used to be pleased to be among the many first. On the similar time, I’d have needed extra knowledge and outcomes earlier than contemplating it for younger folks. Now, six months later, we’ve watched thousands and thousands of adults safely obtain the vaccine and extra knowledge has been collected. We have now the scientific and actual world outcomes to say that the advantages are overwhelming. The dangers the illness poses are considerably better than the danger of the vaccine, which is why I belief the shot for my youngsters and my sufferers.

I perceive that it might really feel like an enormous determination to get adolescents vaccinated. Sustaining the established order typically feels safer as a result of nothing is altering. Nonetheless, inaction isn’t benign, notably on the subject of vaccines. I’ve seen children sickened by vaccine-preventable diseases. Virtually universally, the dad and mom have been overwhelmed with remorse.

I encourage dad and mom or guardians who’re hesitant in regards to the shot to speak to their pediatrician. Your baby’s physician can reply questions and focus on considerations so you can also make an knowledgeable determination.


Dr. Devon Ebbing, MD, is a pediatrician at Vancouver Clinic. She enjoys working with sufferers and their households to develop the suitable care plans for his or her distinctive wants.

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