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SVMHS Physicians Encourage Parents to Vaccinate Young Children

SVMHS Physicians Encourage Parents to Vaccinate Young Children

June 28, 2022 - Anastasia Klick, MD is encouraging her patients to consider vaccinating their youngest children against COVID-19 and is leading by example. Dr. Klick’s 18 month old son Jackson became the first child at Salinas Valley Medical Clinic PrimeCare Salinas office to receive a dose of the vaccine now that the CDC has approved the vaccine for children 6 months and older.

“As a parent, we can’t protect our children against everything,” says Anastasia Klick, MD, a primary care physician at SVMC PrimeCare Salinas. “As a doctor and as a mother, I feel vaccinating my son with a safe and effective vaccine is one thing I can control to protect him against the known and yet unknown risks of getting COVID.”

Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System received 600 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and is distributing the vaccine to its SVMC locations so primary care and pediatric physicians can begin vaccinating infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

In its recommendation for approval, the CDC advisory panel said, the shots offer young children protection from hospitalization, death and possible long term complications that are still not clearly understood. Final approval of the emergency use authorization for children 6 months and older came on Saturday, June 18.

“We’re seeing more children in the Emergency Department at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital than at any other time throughout the pandemic,” says Allen Radner, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System and CEO of Salinas Valley Medical Clinic. “We’ve had many children with respiratory tract infections and one seriously ill child transferred to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford for further medical care.” 

 Dr. Klick says she herself got vaccinated when it first became available to healthcare workers in December 2020 while she was pregnant with Jackson and received her second dose when she was breastfeeding. She feels that decision provided Jackson with some protection however she is relieved to be able to get him fully vaccinated with the three dose series of the Pfizer vaccine now available in Monterey County.

Pfizer’s vaccine is for children 6 months to 5 years old. The dose is one-tenth of the adult dose, and three shots are needed. The time between doses is staggered and requires a total of 11 weeks so parents interested in having their children protected as they return to school should start the series as soon as possible

Moderna is a two shot series, each a quarter of its adult dose, given about four weeks apart for kids 6 months to 5 years old. The FDA also approved a third dose for this age group, at least a month after the second shot, for children with immune conditions that make them more vulnerable to serious illness.

“We know vaccines work incredibly well and despite thousands of people having COVID-19 in Monterey County right now, we’re seeing very few hospitalizations, serious illness or deaths,” says Dr. Radner. “That outcome is a result of safe and effective vaccines. Understandably, parents may have questions about the vaccine for young children and we urge them to talk to their pediatricians or primary care doctors. In addition to the CDC and FDA, all major physician groups along with the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly support vaccinating eligible children ages 6 months and older for COVID-19.” 

Parents interested in learning more or scheduling an appointment can talk to their primary care doctor or pediatrician. You can also check the California Department of Public Health website at www.myturn.ca.gov.

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