California’s youngest kids at acute risk from Covid-19

Vidya Sethuraman
India Post News Service

U.S. children as young as 6-months are now eligible for coronavirus vaccines, and many parents are breathing a sigh of relief. Experts spoke at a June 23 press briefing organized by Ethnic Media Services and Vaccinate All 58 of the California Department of Public Health on vaccinating California’s youngest population.  It is critical that we protect our children and teens from the complications of severe COVID-19 disease.

Dr. Lucia Abascal, California Department of Public Health said California already has 400,000 doses to distribute, free and regardless of insurance or immigration status, and has bought enough for all 2.2 million newly eligible children in the state. Two versions of the pediatric vaccine, one made by Moderna, the other by Pfizer, were approved in mid-June after independent, federal and state reviews. Dr Abascal said families must contact their doctors directly to arrange a vaccination, or go to if they don’t have one.

Dr. Jennifer Miller, of East Bay Pediatrics in Berkeley said this vaccine is going to be the most heavily studied vaccine in history,” noted Dr. Miller. “They’ve been properly tested and vetted. The production didn’t cut any corners.” It’s a tenth the strength of the adult version. Experts said the best vaccine to get is simply whichever is available first, that there are no significant differences between them. Getting our children vaccinated helps us all; it improves the health of our community.” We have more and more evidence that kids are at an acute risk” and “can also suffer consequences such as multi-inflammatory syndrome and long Covid, better to get them vaccinated now.

Dr. Sarah Takekawa, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Kaiser Permanente in South Sacramento spoke of having witnessed unvaccinated Covid patients’ struggles during pregnancy and childbirth, and contrasted that with what she’d observed of her own and her patients’ ability to both become pregnant and bear children with no issues related to getting vaccinated or boosted.