CDC director urging parents to get teens vaccinated against COVID ahead of summer activities


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The CDC director is urging parents to get their adolescents and teens vaccinated against COVID-19 ahead of the summer season. Experts say with travel and summer camps on the horizon through the summer months, it’s an important message they want to send.

Health experts at Yale University School of Medicine are on board.

“It’s critically important that we get kids 12 years and up vaccinated,” said Dr. Richard Martinello, an infectious disease specialist at Yale School of Medicine.

Ahead of a sense of normalcy being restored statewide with families hitting the roads and airways for travel, Dr. Martinello says it’s important for parents to seriously consider vaccinations for children ages 12-15 who are eligible.

“While luckily they don’t get as sick as others may with COVID, they can play a role with transmission and we do know that on occasion, they do get sick enough to be hospitalized,” said Dr. Martinello.

Vaccine hesitancy remains a focus for health experts and providers nationwide, which is why the CDC recommends parents do their research and ask the necessary questions.

“Parents out there who may be a bit hesitant should be really comforted to know that there are a lot of people who have gone out in front, been vaccinated, and have been able to receive the benefits of being vaccinated,” said Dr. Martinello.

Another top concern for health experts is ensuring your child is up to date on all their vaccinations, including the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We know over this last year with COVID that many of our kids may have fallen behind on their routine vaccination schedules. It’s important now for parents to be in communication with their pediatricians to make sure they aren’t just getting vaccinated against COVID, but making sure they are up to date on their other vaccinations,” said Dr. Martinello.

Health experts urge you to contact your family’s pediatrician or local pharmacy for guidance on your child’s vaccination.

“I hope by the time kids go back to school that all of our 12 and up individuals have been vaccinated. That will allow us to have the best opportunity to have a school year in the fall that was like things were before COVID,” said Dr. Martinello.

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