Routine immunizations for schools already in place, COVID-19 vaccine could be next

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — There are many routine vaccines already required for children to attend school.

“Before the vaccination was invented a lot of kids have lost their lives or become disabled because of the diseases,” said Dr. Asim Zamir, Chief of Pediatrics at Valley Baptist in Brownsville.

Dr. Zamir said vaccine development has become very important in stopping serious illnesses among children, which is why many are required. With the rise in COVID-19 cases among children local doctors said when the time comes, COVID-19 vaccines should be required in schools.

“These vaccines for COVID-19 for adults and adolescents over 12 is they are only approved under emergency use,” said Dr. Yesroon Patel, Pediatrician at Valley Regional Hospital.

The emergency use authorization is one reason why Dr. Patel said the COVID-19 vaccine cannot be required by schools. Now that school has started and hospitals are treating more children with COVID-19, doctors are pushing for the approval of those 12 and under. 

“As far as the vaccination, unfortunately, we don’t even have emergency use approval for anyone under 12 yet,” said Dr. Patel.

When adding the COVID-19 vaccine as a routine vaccination for children to be entered in school, doctors explain there is a lengthy process and it takes time before getting approved.

“The CDC has a subcommittee called ‘Immunization Advisory Committee’ and they all meet and recommend is to the CDC and they approve it then the government makes it a law,” said Dr. Zamir.  

While doctors wait for the approval of those 12 and under they stress the importance of getting children vaccinated, especially those who can receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I think the first best tool is the vaccine and we do need to immunize our children if you look at the pros and cons the best thing we can do is to provide the vaccine to your child,” said Dr. Zamir.  

Doctors are still hopeful the vaccine could be added to the immunization requirements for schools in the near future. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Community Stories