COVID-19 vaccine added to U.S. ‘Vaccine for Kids’ program

Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 6:25 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The CDC votes unanimously Wednesday to include the COVID-19 shot in the “Vaccine for Kids” program.

All 15 members of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of vaccines for kids. Dr. Gary Fernando says vaccines are crucial to help slow the spread of a certain disease.

“The vaccine for children program is a critical program. It starts to give a lot of pediatric healthcare providers pause because these are things we’ve been fighting for, you know, decades.”

Dr. Fernando says this vote is also important for families who might not be able to afford the vaccine.

“We would have to have families be paying for out of pocket, you know, and then other ways of getting the vaccine we will have to have other systems absorbing costs for it.”

Dr. Stephen Barlett says the COVID vaccine is effective, but he believes there isn’t enough data for it to be a required vaccine for kids to go to school.

“It certainly is going to be helpful in this country and reducing spread of the infection, but the exact role of the vaccine and children I think is less clear.”

Both doctors say it’s important to have these conversations with your doctors about getting a vaccine to keep yourself and others healthy.

“Vaccines for children are extremely important. Important in preventing the price of public health infections that were fatal to people,” says Dr. Bartlett.

“We think it’s the best way to help kids, you know, reduce symptoms and to eventually help reduce the community burden on this disease,” says Dr. Fernando.

For vaccines to be covered by most health plans, they must be approved by the CDC Director and placed on their vaccination schedule, which appears to be a certainty after today’s vote.

Thursday’s meeting will start around 8:30 a.m. Discussion of monkeypox vaccines is one of the items on the agenda for the final day of the meeting.