St. Louis hosts town hall to address parents’ concerns about COVID vaccine for kids


ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Department of Health held a virtual town hall Monday to answer parents’ questions about COVID-19 vaccinations for children.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently determined that Pfizer’s vaccine is safe for kids ages 5 to 11. The health department’s Q&A session was titled, “COVID-19: The Truth About the Pediatric Vaccine.”

“Now, would be a great time for us to just open it up,” said St. Louis Health Director Dr. Mati Hlatshwayo-Davis.

The city’s top health officials led an informative discussion as more vaccines roll out for millions of children.

“This is the best tool we have in our toolbox,” said Dr. Hlatshwayo-Davis. “This is a safe and effective vaccine. It has gone through rigorous internal and external validation processes. These are checks and balances to make sure it’s safe for our children.”

Parents with vaccination concerns were welcomed to ask questions like, “If children aren’t getting very sick from COVID-19 why should we vaccinate?”

Dr. Mati Hlatshwayo-Davis moderated the discussion where she helped answer those questions along with St. Louis City Commissioner of Health Dr. Frederick Echols.

“At this time, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the best tool we have to prevent Sars and COVID-related severe complications, hospitalizations, and death for individuals 5 to 11 years,” Dr. Echols said.

St. Louis City Mayor Tishaura Jones also attended the virtual meeting to show her support to get more people vaccinated.

“Everyone, ages 5 years old and older, is now eligible to get vaccinated,” said Jones. “I want to emphasize time and time again vaccines are safe vaccines are effective and completely free of charge. They are the key to protecting our schools our families and our communities.”

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