Re: “U.S. gives final clearance to COVID-19 shots for kids 5 to 11” [Nov. 2, Health]:

The Centers for Disease Control Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Tuesday recommended that all children 5 to 11 years of age receive the pediatric formulation of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The research on more than 3,000 children who received the vaccine showed no significant side effects and greater than 90% effectiveness in prevention of COVID disease. Unfounded rumors about negative effects from the vaccine persist on the internet and social media, but the science shows that the vaccine is safe.

COVID is now one of the leading causes of death for kids. Beyond the direct impacts on health, though, are the social and emotional effects that COVID has imposed on our children. Remote learning was challenging, especially for those in this age group. Kids have had limitations on sports and other group activities.

The vaccine is safe and effective. It offers our children the best chance to return to a normal pre-pandemic life. It will reduce the possibility of unfortunate school closures due to outbreaks, which we have seen recently. Widespread vaccination will give our children back their childhood. It’s good for our kids. It’s good for our families. It’s good for our schools. It’s good for our communities.

Neil Kaneshiro, M.D., Woodinville Pediatrics, chair, Immunization Action Coalition of Washington