This Week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Cleared Children Ages 5-11 to Receive COVID-19 Vaccines Following Extensive Studies
COVID Survivors Say that Vaccinating Children is Essential to Keeping Kids and Families Healthy, and Preventing the Spread of the Virus
WASHINGTON – This week the FDA voted to allow children ages 5-11 to get vaccinated against COVID-19, clearing an essential hurdle towards vaccinating millions of children. In response to the news, members of COVID Survivors for Change with young children released the following statements.
“I know some parents will hesitate to vaccinate their children,” said Kpana Kpoto, a New York-based member of COVID Survivors for Change whose mother was killed by COVID and who has two children, ages 5 and 14. “I’d ask those parents to discuss their concerns with their pediatrician and also remember that getting vaccinated isn’t just about protecting our own lives – it protects the lives of all of our loved ones and everyone in our community. We owe it to our kids and our communities to do our part to stop the spread of this devastating virus.”
“No child should go through the fight my daughter has gone through with COVID,” said Melissa Lynch, a North Carolina-based member of COVID Survivors for Change and lead representative for United States Long COVID Kids Charity whose teenage daughter is a Covid long-hauler. “The best thing we can do to prevent the spread of COVID is to encourage parents to get their kids vaccinated and let our local school boards know that COVID vaccination should now be a requirement for in-person school. Preventing kids from contracting COVID prevents children from becoming long-haulers, which is a life-changing experience for kids. Children need to be in the classroom, and the safest way to do that is making sure that all students and school staff are vaccinated.”
“More than 700,000 Americans have died and countless more have had their lives forever changed by COVID – including thousands of children,” said Chris Kocher, executive director of COVID Survivors for Change and a dad of two young children. “For my daughter’s and family’s health and in honor of the millions of families devastated by COVID, I’ll be rushing to get her vaccinated as soon as she’s eligible. Getting vaccinated is the most important thing we can do to keep all of our families safe and help end this crisis.”
Vaccination is a common-sense addition to the safety measures already in place in most school districts including mask-wearing and social distancing. Not including afterschool programs and activities, children in the U.S. spend on average 6 hours in the classroom per day, and the number is even longer for teachers who often come in early and stay late. Vaccination not only protects other children in the classroom, but it protects the larger community that helps the school environment to function efficiently for both students and staff. COVID Survivors for Change is committed to supporting students, parents and administrators in their work to ensure that children are safe in school and vaccinated against COVID-19.
ABOUT COVID SURVIVORS FOR CHANGE
COVID Survivors for Change is a nationwide community of Americans fighting for a stronger pandemic response to save the lives of others. We advocate for more support for COVID survivors, to remember those who have died, and for public health measures that will prevent future pandemics. We know that so much of this pandemic was preventable and we are committed to working together to keep families safe. We do this by offering trauma-informed programs and support groups, sharing and amplifying survivor stories, and impacting legislative and cultural change. For more information, please visit: COVIDsurvivorsforchange.org.