I have practiced pediatrics for 41 years, and know well the power of vaccines in stopping the spread of disease and suffering, both for individual children and for entire families and communities. We’ve all seen this unfold in real time over the past few months. In May, when the US Food and Drug Administration authorized the Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use in children 12 and older, millions of children were suddenly able to return to the activities that help them develop into the independent, creative and productive adults we want them to become. If you have a teenager in your life who got the vaccine, chances are you witnessed a remarkable transformation once they were able to safely reenter the world.
I hope they determine the vaccine is ready. My family certainly is. We are already looking forward to the children having playdates with friends and engaging in sports again, as we look ahead and relish the possibility of celebrating holidays and birthdays together again.
To parents who are still hesitant about the vaccines, I urge you to talk with your child’s pediatrician or primary health care provider. They know your family and your child and can answer any questions you have. And if you are an adult who is not yet vaccinated, you can do your part too: get your questions answered and make a plan to receive the vaccine.
Increasing the number of people of all ages who are vaccinated will make everyone and every community safer.