20 percent of children 5-11 are vaccinated; doctor says why that number needs to improve

Reggie Spears and some members of his family recently had a bout with Covid.

"I don't even know how we got it," he said..

Although most of his family is vaccinated, his 6-year-old daughter is not

"Because she’s still 6 years old I was scared to get it myself," he said.

Unvaccinated children seem to be affected more by Covid, said Dr Bishara Freij, is the Chief of Pediatric Infectious Disease at Beaumont Children’s Hospital.

"Most of the sick kids I need to take care of with Covid are unvaccinated," Dr. Freij said. "The immunization rate for the 5-to-11 age group is around 20 percent. The vast majority of people in that age group have not been vaccinated."

In Michigan that boils down to one in five kids eligible for the vaccine, are vaccinated.

"Most people think Covid in kids is not severe, they are sorely mistaken," Freij said.

He said he sees COVID-19 impacting kids in two areas.

"This thing called MIS-C multi inflammatory syndrome in children," he said, adding that, "Covid pneumonia those are typically older kids.

"It makes me sad because it’s an encounter that does not need to happen."

Doctors want parents to seek information from trusted medical sources about the vaccine and not rely on rumors to guide their decisions.

Freij said that social media misinformation is a big problem.  He said that one rumor doctors are trying to combat is that the vaccine can impact reproductive organs.

"Not only does it not cause infertility - there’s no mechanism for it to cause infertility," he said.

Spears says he and his wife are consulting with their child’s pediatrician before deciding on their next move.

"I’m leaning more toward getting her the vaccination," he said.

Doctors believe some parents may need something more to push them to get their young kids vaccinated.

"It’s going to boil down to schools mandating it," Freij said. "This the only way to move the needle."