Now that both the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have green-lighted Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use in kids ages 12 to 15, pediatricians will soon find themselves on the front lines of the country’s vaccination efforts, playing an essential role in communicating to parents the safety and importance of getting their kids the shot.
That’s a tall order for pediatricians who say they’re facing skyrocketing vaccine hesitancy among families.
“It’s not like I can just send out a big message that says, ‘Everybody get your flu shot!'” said Dr. Natasha Burgert, a pediatrician in Overland Park, Kansas, and a national spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics. “It’s hard, especially for those of us who are communicating with these families every day.”
While it’s true that young people are not likely to get very sick from Covid-19, they can still harbor the virus and spread it to others. As of May 6, more than 3.8 million cases of Covid-19 had been reported in children, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.