US Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy has made an appeal to the people of the United States to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19, a move that is aimed at addressing vaccine hesitancy among some parents in the country.
An advisory panel of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday had recommended the use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged between 12 and 15. This comes after the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine for the said age group.
In a series of tweets, Dr Murthy assured the safety of vaccines and explained the importance of getting the COVID-19 shots to kids.
Assuring the effectiveness of the vaccine, he explained how more than 2,000 young people participated in the clinical trial of the vaccines.
“Does it work? 2,000+ young people participated in the clinical trial — half with a placebo, half with the vaccine. There were 16 symptomatic COVID-19 infections in the placebo group and 0 in the vaccine group — demonstrating the vaccine is highly effective,” he said.
He further stated that parents can ensure that their adolescents are protected against COVID-19.
“There’s more: millions of 16- and 17-year-olds — and many millions more adults — have already received a dose of the Pfizer vaccine over the last few months. The data from their experience continues to demonstrate the vaccine is highly effective and its safety profile strong,” Dr Murthy said.
He also asked the parents to consider the risk of not getting vaccinated against COVID-19, saying that over 13,000 adolescents in the US were hospitalized after being infected.
“And even for those with milder cases, a small number have experienced longer-term fatigue, shortness of breath, or other symptoms,” he added.
“Children also play a role in transmitting COVID19 to others, including those at higher risk of severe illness with COVID like the elderly and those with medical conditions. By getting vaccinated, adolescents can break the chain of transmission and protect those at higher risk.”
On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said about 155.3 million people in US have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, including about 120.3 million people who have been fully vaccinated, The New York Times reported.