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‘OK, I’ve got this’: Sacramento-area physician’s family shares vlog for kids’ Covid-19 vaccinations

<i>KCRA</i><br/>A Sacramento-area doctor wants people to know that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective for 5 to 11-year-olds
A Sacramento-area doctor wants people to know that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective for 5 to 11-year-olds

By Melanie Wingo

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    ROSEVILLE, California (KCRA) — A Sacramento-area doctor wants people to know that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective for 5 to 11-year-olds, so she made a vaccine vlog with her own children.

Pulmonary and critical care physician Dr. Vanessa Walker of Pulmonary Medicine Associates booked appointments for her children to get vaccinated as soon as the Pfizer vaccine was given emergency-use authorization for children in their age range.

“It is overwhelmingly safe, and it’s much safer than actually getting COVID,” Walker said.

Walker also shared her experience getting the vaccination herself in January 2021 via vlog format.

Walker, who’s treated COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit setting since the beginning of the pandemic, realizes there may be people who don’t understand her decision.

“There’s going to be part of the population, and no matter what I say, they’re not gonna agree with the decision that I’ve made,” Walker said.

Walker explained her decision to vaccinate her children was made after careful consideration.

“I do research and actually read scientific papers, speak to specialists across the country,” Walker said. “Overwhelming support by the physician community is to get yourself vaccinated and your children vaccinated.”

She also addressed concerns over potential side effects like myocarditis — an extremely rare condition doctors have said they’ve seen in some teen boys and young men following their reception of the vaccine.

It’s a condition Walker said could develop if people contract COVID-19 or even other viruses.

“If you were to say, ‘I’m going to get the vaccine or I’m gonna get COVID,’ you’re gonna have a higher chance of getting myocarditis from COVID than you will from the vaccine.”

Walker also addressed concerns about future fertility raised among some parents.

“[That was] literally plucked from obscurity and really there’s no scientific evidence to support that,” Walker said. “It’s not lingering in your body ready to attack you 20 years later, that’s not how it works.”

For the most part, Walker said studies show kids tolerate the vaccine really well.

“I was actually sitting on my dad’s lap. He was holding me still,” said Walker’s 7-year-old daughter, Selma. “I’m like, ‘OK, I’ve got this.’”

Five-year-old Salem also felt fine after the initial anxiety about getting the shot passed and it was on to the post-shot waiting area.

According to Walker, the smaller dose children between 5 and 11 receive cuts down on side-effects which may include fever, muscle aches and injection site soreness. Walker’s children only experienced arm soreness where they received their first round of shots.

“I would never do anything to my children that would hurt them,” Walker said. “I’ve researched this and I know for a fact that this is the best decision for my family and for my children.”

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