Pediatrician and Parent Perspective

Thoughts from CHOP physician Dr. Kaitlin Brandstadter on vaccinating children ages 5 and up. Kaitlin's son Gabriel is a Roadrunner. She recently reached out to Roadrunner families and has agreed to share this with the entire PIC community.

"As a CHOP primary care pediatrician who routinely vaccinates children and has gotten several teen patients vaccinated, I want to share some vaccine resources. I would also like to share some professional and personal thoughts with you.

I feel very comfortable with this vaccine, such that I was able to get Gabriel vaccinated by traveling to Springfield.

As a physician I remind my families that for the last 100+ years the only way we have controlled wide spread, dangerous infections is through vaccination, particularly of young children. Their immune system is set up to see the world and form immunity over time. However, when we can can control the exposure, we can better control the outcome (which is safe adulthood)!

We have known for many years that chicken pox can be mild in kids, yet dangerous in adults. The only way we have significantly reduced this and protected vulnerable adults is through childhood vaccination. I have seen an adult patient with chicken pox, and I know that reducing the spread really matters.

The threat of myocarditis and MIS-C from COVID infection is real. The risk of myocarditis from COVID is one in 50 teen males! Once vaccinated, teen males ages 16 and over exhibited 1 in 10,000 to 50,000 depending on the study, and 95% showed only mild or easily managed cases.

Additionally, and directly relevant, I have seen a 9-year-old with MIS-C in my role as a primary care doctor. It was severe, and quite frankly it really scared me. We sent her immediately to the Emergency Room (ER) where she was intubated within the hour, and she spent weeks in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). 

As a mom, I personally feel a sense of relief post-vaccination. Relief if his mask falls below his nose or he forgets to wash his hands, or if he just wants to hug a friend. I want to take him out to pancakes, gymnastics and other normal things. I want him to hug his grandparents without thinking about whether they have been boosted, or that he will not bring it home to his two-year-old sister. I want him not to have to miss his friends and quarantine for any prolonged length if exposed. I just want him to be a 5-year-old kid."

You will find more current COVID vaccination resources here.