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Nacogdoches pediatrician knows parents are struggling with decisions concerning their kids, COVID-19 vaccine

Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 8:33 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Business leaders can be distracted by many things including the health of their children. That is why the Nacogdoches Chamber of Commerce invited a pediatrician to help parents decide whether to vaccinate their children against COVID-19.

Dr. Ryan Head has been faced with lots of inquiries now that adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 have been authorized to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines. He is seeing some anxiety from parents on whether to vaccinate their children.

“They just don’t know, and of course, they look to us for answers, and a lot of time we do have answers, but a lot of times we don’t have all the answers,” Head said. “We just have evidence that pushes one way or the other as to what’s the best course of action.”

Head says there is no clear evidence of what the vaccines will do to a child long-term, but there is also no clear evidence of what the virus will do to children.

“We don’t know what the five-year effects of this virus is, we don’t know what the 10-year, 15-year, 20-year effects of it is because it hasn’t been around that long, so we really are weighing unknown risks versus unknown risk.”

Head said there is a rise of new COVID-19 infections being seen in pediatric patients.

“The percentage of new infections are growing in pediatric patients,” Head said. “That can be due to any number of issues.”

He said he believes one of the reasons child cases are rising is because much of the at-risk population has been vaccinated.

“And so when you vaccinate most people over 20, the only ones left to really acquire the infection are the ones under 20, which is why we are seeing that rise,” Head said.

One of the things he hears from parents hesitant about getting their children vaccinated is the belief that the vaccines were rushed. Although they were quickly developed, Head said it wasn’t done carelessly.

“Understand that there are a lot of people that really want to make sure this is done well and have poured a lot of time, money, and effort into this sort of thing to help protect us from this virus,” Head said.

And if you do decide to get your child vaccinated, Nacogdoches ISD will be holding a vaccine clinic on Saturday, June 5. It will be held in the Nacogdoches High School gym and is available for anyone ages 12 and up.

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