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Health expert: Get kids vaccinated against COVID-19 now to be protected in time for school

Jul 26, 2021 06:08AM ● By Editor

Watch the KSTP-TV Report here

Registered Pharmacist Ken Ramey with CVS, prepares to give a COVID-19 vaccine, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, at the Isles of Vero Beach assisted and independent senior living community in Vero Beach, Fla.  Photo: AP

By Ginna Roe of KSTP-TV - July 25, 2021

The start of the school year is coming up quickly, and health experts say parents of kids 12 and up should add one more thing to their child's back-to-school checklist: a COVID-19 vaccine.

"It's about now that if you were thinking that you want to get your kiddo that's 12 and above vaccinated for COVID but you were kind of holding off over the summer, wanted to wait and see but you really wanted to get them fully vaccinated before they went back to in-person school, this next week or two is the time," said Dr. Andrea Singh, chair of pediatrics at Health Partners Park Nicollet Clinic & Hospitals.

It takes about five weeks after the first dose to be fully vaccinated. So children getting their first dose of the vaccine in the next week will be fully vaccinated by the first week of September.

Singh said she hears a lot of concerns from parents who are hesitant to vaccinate their kids, but she wants them to recognize how important it is to get eligible children vaccinated before sending them back to in-person classes.

"COVID is a real illness and it can cause serious illness, even in kids. I hear from a lot of kids — and teenagers especially — who say, 'Well, COVID isn't that bad. It just gives me a cold,' but the potential is there for COVID to be very, very serious," Singh said.

Not only is it the best decision for their personal health, Singh said, but being vaccinated will also help keep students' peers, teachers and families safe. It will also allow children to have the most normal school year possible.

"It's also really important for your kids in terms of what they're going to be able to do when they go back to school," she said. "There are sports teams and co-curricular activities that are going to have certain parameters around you can do X if you're vaccinated and you may have to do Y if you're not vaccinated."

With loosened restrictions across the state, Singh said she sees a lot of people with their guards down. Many are of the mindset that the pandemic is over, but COVID-19 is still a threat. Singh said it is important to talk to your children about being cautious as they head back to school.

To see the original report and read related stories, follow this link to the KSTP-TV website.

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