Hope in COVID-19 Fight

November 08, 2021
“We all have hope today.”

Dr. Michael Zollicoffer, a pediatrician with Sinai Hospital, captured the immense relief and excitement in Maryland—and nationwide—as we received much-anticipated news that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.

On Wednesday, as Gov. Larry Hogan announced that health care providers can immediately start the rollout, there was celebrating and a hug from Dr. Bear as Carlos, an 8-year-old with Type 1 Diabetes, was the first child under 12 to receive a COVID-19 vaccination at Children’s National Hospital.

Now that vaccines are an option, parents will weigh that decision, perhaps even more heavily than their own choice to get the jab. With COVID-19 transmission rates largely plateaued in our state, it’s possible the issue of vaccines may seem less urgent; and parents may put off vaccinations.

Recent surveys indicate that about one-third of parents are eager to get their kids vaccinated, another one-third likely will not do so, and another one-third are interested but waiting.

Nearly a year after the first Marylanders were vaccinated, we now can better protect children and keep them in school and learning. And as the holidays approach, families whose kids are vaccinated can get together knowing that the risk of children transmitting the virus to other family members is vastly reduced.

This is another pivotal moment in our fight against COVID-19.

Bob Atlas
President & CEO 
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