Columbus pediatrician says COVID-19 vaccine is the best protection available for kids ages 5-11

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in children 5 to 11, Children’s Health Center pediatrician Dr. Jacob Skiwski says they have ordered 300 more doses.

“The virus doesn’t care about politics,” he says. “The virus is a virus and it’s going to get you one way or the other and the shot is the best protection you have.”

According to the Mississippi State Department of Health, 21,000 children between the ages of 6 and 10 have gotten the disease.

“I wish (FDA approval) had been done earlier so before school got started, we could have stopped the virus spread in the first place,” Dr. Skiwski says. “Then we wouldn’t have to have school closings now.”

Columbus’s Children’s Health Center is one of the more than 300 providers across the state that have signed up to administer these shots.

Dr. Skiwski says the 5 to 11-year-old age group, in particular, is one of the most rapid spreaders of COVID.

“They fall down, they got dirty hands, they pass their cookies around, pass their drink around,” he says. “If one’s got it, they all got it.”

And with the Delta variant more prevalent in children, Dr. Skiwski says getting everyone vaccinated is the best way to stop more variants from developing.

“The new variant is coming down in age group (that it’s impacting) and we’re afraid that if we have any other variants, the kids could be as susceptible as the adults,” he says.

Pfizer has not seen any serious side effects in the 3,100 children they observed and Dr. Skiwski says this vaccine is no different from those that have eradicated other diseases.

“Chickenpox, rubella, the measles, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, it was strictly medical,” he says. “As a result, we got that through and actually, Mississippi is one of the best-immunized states for kids with these childhood diseases.”

Dr. Skiwski urges parents to put away their political ideologies and do what is best for their children.

“It’s a deadly virus,” he says. “The best way to stop it is to get vaccinated.”

To schedule a vaccine appointment at the Children’s Health Center, call 662-329-2955.

They are also holding a COVID and flu vaccine walk-in clinic on November 12th from 1 to 5 p.m.

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