by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo
So many Harris County residents who have gotten vaccinated still have feelings of anxiety about COVID, and it’s understandable. Children under the age of 12 have been ineligible to receive the vaccine and remained unprotected from this pandemic that has taken so many lives. This week finally marks the end of the wait — the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have approved the vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11, an essential piece of our response to COVID-19 that is long overdue.
And, though many parents are eager to get their children vaccinated, others may still be hesitant. Parents should know that the vaccine is safe — the side effects adults have experienced, like a short-lived fever and cold-like symptoms, are less likely to affect kids. It’s also effective — it has a 90% effectiveness rate in preventing children ages 5 through 11 from contracting COVID19. Although younger children are less likely to be hospitalized or lose their lives from the virus, they can still suffer from various long-term effects of COVID-19. If you want to protect your kids from getting sick from COVID-19, there is no reason to delay signing up for this vaccine.
So, let’s celebrate all of our hard work to get Harris County vaccinated and last week’s downgrade in Harris County’s threat level to Level 2: Orange by getting all eligible Harris County children vaccinated. To sign up, check first if your pediatrician is offering appointments. If not, you can check with your local pharmacy or sign up for an appointment through Harris County Public Health by calling 832-927-8787 or registering at ReadyHarris.org.
This is a huge leap in our fight to return to normalcy — let’s give our children the protection they deserve and the chance for a childhood where they can go to school without masks, hug their friends, share their toys, and see their teachers and friends’ smiling faces, without worries about the virus.