Lafayette - The roll-out of the vaccine has been a tedious process with manufacturers having to run clinical trials on various age groups that began with our most vulnerable senior citizens.
But with the vaccine now being available to children five to eleven doctors are stressing the importance of vaccinating your little ones.
Coming off of our fourth and most deadly covid-19 surge when it comes to children, doctor Bryan Sibley says that the approval of the vaccine for those five to eleven couldn’t have come at a better time ahead of the holidays.
"It’s incredibly important and the reason why is people tend to think cold and flu season happen because it’s cold outside," he said. "But cold and flu tends to spread, just like covid, when people gather together."
This summer Louisiana saw its worst spike in covid-19 cases yet stemming from the delta variant a more contagious version of covid-19 than its predecessors especially in children.
Doctor Scott Hamilton said "the delta surge was different than the other surges we’ve had. We had a lot more kids that were positive."
Sibley added that "in July and August and September this past year was the worst part of the pandemic for children, especially under ten years old."
Eighteen people under eighteen years old have died due to covid-19 in Louisiana since the pandemic began; nine of those deaths during the fourth surge alone. Hamilton explained why preventative practices like mask wearing and hand washing weren’t as effective in our youngest population.
He said "kids just love to congregate and yell and play and touch each other. And again, they’re passing on the virus much more easier than adults. So, the basic things we do to prevent transmission of the virus is a little harder to do with kids.
Hamilton said most inoculated parents have been receptive to getting their little ones vaccinated to those who are still hesitant, he emphasized that this isn’t our first rodeo.
"We’ve been doing this for generations and kids have been perfectly safe getting these vaccines," he said. "This turns out to be one of the safer vaccines that’s been invented and one of the most effective for what turns out to be a deadly illness."
Sibley said if we want our children to return to any sense of normalcy the vaccine will take us there.
"If we’re ever going to get them back to learning normally, getting back to participating in their activities normally, the best way to do that and avoid future surges is to have the majority of our population vaccinated," he said.
For more information on the vaccine in children ages five to eleven, you can visit here.