Call to Action from Pediatric Leaders across the Triangle

As clinical leaders of children’s hospitals in the North Carolina Triangle region, we are here to promote and protect children’s health. We are alarmed by the sharp rise in cases of COVID-19 positivity, infection and hospitalizations among children. Childhood hospitalizations due to COVID have more than quadrupled in the past month. The known risk of not having a vaccine available to children has become undeniable. The myth that this pandemic has minimal effects on children compared to adults has changed dramatically in the past month. This calls for additional action to make a vaccine available to all children and support for all school-age children to follow the Center for Disease Control and ABC Collaborative recommendations, which recommend that children wear masks at school and social distancing. We are encouraged by the recent data demonstrating both the safety and efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine in children as young as 5 years of age and we hope that the remaining reviews and recommendations for distribution will be expedient.

Spreading misinformation at this time of a vaccine public health crisis goes against the overwhelming information about safety and efficacy of the vaccine’s ability to protect against serious infections and hospitalizations.

With such a powerful tool to safely and effectively prevent disease, we must avoid further slowing down its use for the youngest members of our society, whose lives remain disrupted and whose health remains in jeopardy as a result of this pandemic virus. Together, we can safely bring these remarkable disease-preventive vaccine innovations to children.

On behalf of,

Karen Chilton, MD

Stephanie D. Davis, MD
UNC School of Medicine

Ann M. Reed, MD
Duke University School of Medicine

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