BERKS COUNTY, Pa.- As Covid infections continue to be so rampant, doctors say they are concerned that only about 20% of 5–11-year-old kids nationwide have received their Covid vaccine. This, despite becoming eligible back in early November.
"The children who are admitted in the hospital, most of them are unvaccinated," says Dr. Olubunmi Ojikutu, the Chair of the Dept. of Pediatrics.
She says low vaccination rates among this age group is discouraging.
"We were hoping for higher percentages at this point."
She says here in Berks County of those children in the 5-11 age group who have been vaccinated, about 71% received one dose and 60% have gotten both doses.
Ojikutu says medical professionals are encouraging parents to get their children vaccinated because the health risks of getting the virus can be significant and the prevalence of Multisystem inflammatory syndrome is unknown with the Omicron variant.
"We're waiting to see are we going to see MIS-C like we did with other surges, will it be that with this strain, will we be scared of MIS-C," says Dr. Ojikutu.
Doctors can't predict how sick a child will get from the virus but with more cases overall, they say they're seeing more mild, moderate and severe infections.
Ojikutu says getting vaccinated minimizes that risk.
"The side effects from vaccines are nowhere close to what we're seeing from the side effects of the actual Covid infection."