Pediatrician addresses COVID-19 myths

As the kids head back to school, doctors want to make sure parents not only understand the necessary precautions needed in schools but also share information with parents who are concerned. 

To mask or not to mask?

To vaccinate or not vaccinate?

MPS kids wearing masks

Those are just a few of the questions parents have involving their children, especially as the school year is about to start.

FOX6 spoke with UW Health Chair of Pediatrics Dr. Ellen Wald about some myths related to the coronavirus. 

Dr. Ellen Wald

Myth #1: Kids don’t get seriously sick from COVID-19.

Wald says that while it is true that children get sick less often than adults and have milder cases of COVID, that doesn’t mean they can’t turn severe. 

"Children can get seriously ill and that 340 children have died this year from covid and 4000 of them have had a serious complication," she said. 

Myth #2: Masks are not safe and kids refuse to wear them. 

"The kids are adaptable and resilient. Even kids under five do really well," Wald said.

"They’re super effective and absolutely safe. People have made up truly a myth that they are not safe and there is no factual content behind that." 

Small children wearing masks in school

Myth #3: The vaccine currently approved for kids 12 and up was rushed. 

Wald says vaccine doses are primarily based on weight, not just age. 

"Many 12-year-olds are 100 pounds and many small women are 100 pounds and we knew the vaccine was totally safe in that weight group even though they were older. People felt comfortable with the idea that we could use the same dose and then they tested the same dose and they saw that it was safe," she said.

Dr. Wald says that scientists hope a vaccine dose will be approved for kids ages 5 to 11 by the end of this year.

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194 COVID vaccines given at State Fair: DHS

All those vaccinated at the on-site clinic receive a voucher for a free cream puff redeemable at the Cream Puff Pavilion.