Capital Area Pediatrics, in agreement with the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics, supports the safe return to in person learning for all children and adolescents this fall. The pandemic has been a challenging time for our society and community, including our children. Returning to in person learning with safety measures in place will provide our children with academic, emotional and mental health supports that they need to thrive in this difficult time.
While we are awaiting specific details from local school districts, we know that a safe return to school, whether elementary or college level, includes many factors:
- Vaccination for all that are eligible
- Mask wearing for all students age 2 years and up, regardless of vaccination status
- Physical distancing when able
- Handwashing and respiratory etiquette
- Keeping children home when they are sick
- Additional layers such as screening testing, ventilation updates, cleaning and disinfecting
Capital Area Pediatrics strongly encourages that all eligible children and adolescents receive the COVID-19 vaccine. While it is true that young persons infected with COVID-19 tend to have milder symptoms compared to adults, some become very sick. Children receiving the vaccine will not be required to quarantine after an exposure to COVID and vaccination plays an important step toward reopening schools and returning to the “normal” social activities so important to the overall health and wellbeing of our children.
Information for College Students
Many colleges and universities require students to have COVID-19 vaccinations to return to campus or must provide a medical waiver signed by a physician stating that there is a medical reason that the student should not receive the COVID vaccination.
Capital Area Pediatrics encourages all eligible young people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, and our pediatricians are available to discuss any concerns a patient or parent may have regarding the vaccine. If a teen qualifies for a medical waiver based on published FDA and CDC guidance, it will be provided. At this time, medical exemptions will be limited to those who:
- Had a severe allergic reaction to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, or
- Had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of the vaccine.
If a parent or patient does not want to receive the vaccine, but there is not a medical exemption, it will be necessary for the parent to direct all concerns to the university requiring the vaccine.
Concerns about Myocarditis after Vaccination
After an in-depth discussion on myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination, CDC's Advisory committee on Immunization Practice, has issued the following statement on 6/23/21. This statement has been endorsed by the leaders of Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The Statement: “The facts are clear: this is an extremely rare side effect, and only an exceedingly small number of people will experience it after vaccination… Importantly, for the young people who do, most cases are mild, and individuals recover often on their own or with minimal treatment. In addition, we know that myocarditis and pericarditis are much more common if you get COVID-19, and the risks to the heart from COVID-19 infection can be more severe.”
Please do not hesitate to contact your provider if you have further questions.