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Experts urge parents to get kids vaccinated against COVID-19, say their own kids will get shots

Kid-size doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine.Associated Press

With approval from federal regulators possible as soon as next week for a COVID-19 vaccine for children 5-11, certain experts are urging parents on social media to get their kids the shots. Some are even sharing their plans to get their own kids vaccinated as soon as possible.

Syra Madad, senior director of the system-wide special pathogens program at NYC Health + Hospitals and a fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard, said on Twitter she was planning to get her young children vaccinated.

She said it was “1. For their protection. 2. For our collective protection. 3. To go back to engaging in activities we enjoyed as a family.” She also laid out her thoughts in an opinion column on the CNN website.


After the vaccine was approved by an advisory panel of the US Food and Drug Administration earlier this week, the first step of several leading to a possible final approval next week, Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency room physician and professor at Brown University in Providence, tweeted her own set of reasons why her child would be getting a shot.

Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, agreed with a tweet by Boston University School of Public Health Professor Jon Levy that pediatricians were getting their own children vaccinated as soon as possible.

Jha said in tweets he was going to get his 9-year-old son vaccinated soon and the benefits “far outweigh any risk.”

Levy had said in his tweet that if pediatricians’ plans to get their own children vaccinated “doesn’t tell you how safe and effective the #COVID19 vaccine is, I don’t know what will.”

Dr. Richard Pan, a pediatrician who is also a California state senator, agreed with Jha, noting that pediatricians had already gotten their teens vaccinated after vaccines for those ages were approved.


Joseph Allen, a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, also agreed with Jha, saying his 9-year-old son would be getting the shot “on the first day we can. No hesitation.”

The messages resonated with a number of other Twitter users, some of them doctors and some not, who said they were also planning to get their children vaccinated as soon as they were authorized.

The president of the American Academy of Pediatrics said in a New York Times opinion piece this week that “for the same reason pediatricians recommend seatbelts and car seats, the American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending vaccines for Covid-19. Parents should feel assured that when the vaccines are authorized for children, it means they are considered extremely effective and side effects are rare.”

“While the brutal toll of the pandemic will reverberate for years to come, let’s make the choice to finally put children first,” Dr. Lee Beers said.

Martin Finucane can be reached at