As kids under 5 start getting COVID-19 vaccines, Quebec urged to change messaging – CBC

Pediatrician says government hasn’t explained benefits of vaccines for very young

Jul 25, 2022

A pediatrician at a children’s hospital in Montreal said Monday the government needs to do more to promote the benefits of vaccinating young children against COVID-19.

As Quebec’s vaccination campaign opened to kids aged six months to five years, Dr. Olivier Drouin said the message from health officials is ambiguous and leaves parents unsure what to do.

“Parents have been told since the beginning of the pandemic that children don’t get sick,” Drouin, a doctor at Montreal’s CHU Sainte-Justine, said in an interview. “So, why would they need to vaccinate them?”

The government’s message, he said, has been focused too much on reducing the risk of infection in children. That’s a mistake, he said. “The message needs to switch from lowering the risk of infection to lowering the severity of it.”

“There was a time during the pandemic that we hoped vaccination would prevent infection; we are not there anymore. Everybody is at risk. If their kid is sick (with COVID-19), either he’s going to need hospitalization or not.”

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