St. Jude pediatric infectious disease doctor: ‘Today’s recommendation of the Covid vaccine for young children is welcome news for millions of parents.’

As summer break continues for kids around the country, parents should utilize this time to get all unvaccinated children the Covid vaccine as soon as possible.

MEMPHIS, TENN. – With today’s news the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Advisory Panel has recommended emergency use authorization of the both the Moderna and Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for children under 5 years of age, Diego R. Hijano, M.D., a top infectious disease specialist at the nation’s premier pediatric cancer institution, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospitalcalled it “welcome news for millions of parents and children still waiting for the most effective, proven protection from severe illness and hospitalizations resulting from the Covid-19 virus.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. general population is now over 70% fully vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus. Today’s emergency authorization recommendation will continue to help boost herd immunity in the U.S. population.

“Children under the age of 5 are the last group to become eligible for the Covid vaccine, today’s news should offer reassurance to millions of parents who have been waiting to protect their children against this harmful virus,” Diego R. Hijano, M.D., a top infectious disease specialist at the nation’s premier pediatric cancer institution, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “Today’s message for parents is do not wait to get your child vaccinated and protected against the Covid virus. Model projections forecast a potentially difficult fall infection season and while children are on summer break, now is the time to schedule their vaccine appointment.  The Covid vaccine will provide children with the highest levels of antibody protection and overwhelmingly reduce the potential for hospitalizations and severe illness.”

Dr. Hijano also continued to suggest prevention practices, like masking up, keeping your distance and washing your hands to protect vulnerable children who may be vaccinated, but also immunocompromised.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and cures childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments developed at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to 80% since the hospital opened more than 60 years ago. St. Jude freely shares the breakthroughs it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. To learn more, visit or follow St. Jude on social media at @StJudeResearch.

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