August 24, 2022
Deidre McCabe, Communications Director, 410-767-3536
Chase Cook, Deputy Director for Media Relations; 410-767-8649
Maryland health and education officials urge parents to put COVID vaccines on their back-to-school checklist
Baltimore, MD-As summer vacation ends and schools return to session, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) are urging parents statewide to put COVID vaccines and boosters at the top of their school checklist. Their children and schools are all Covid-ready this fall.
“Our children deserve the strongest protection against COVID, as with other potentially dangerous childhood diseases like polio and measles,” said Dr. MDH Deputy Secretary of Public Health Services. Jinlen Chan said. “If you haven’t already done so, please get your children up to date on all their required vaccinations and protect against COVID at the same time as part of your back-to-school routine this year. We can work together to help our children learn and grow together safely.
MDH has partnered with MSDE since 2020 to help keep Maryland students safe against COVID-19 in schools, including organizing K-12 COVID testing programs and organizing statewide initiatives and co-hosting COVID vaccination clinics. This year’s emphasis on school safety is what every Marylander can do to be safe and COVIDReady, and childhood immunizations and boosters are key components of back-to-school success.
“We are excited to bring our students, teachers and staff back to schools for a new school year of learning, discovery and growth. As we come back together, it is important to focus on each of our roles to keep our school communities safe and healthy,” said Maryland Superintendent of Schools Mr. “We are asking for the partnership of our families and parents to help keep schools safe by ensuring that children have access to all routine childhood vaccinations, as well as the Covid vaccine,” said Mohammad Chaudhary.
Currently, approximately 44.9% of Maryland children ages 5-11 are fully vaccinated against COVID, with an additional 15.5% receiving the single recommended booster. For children aged 12–17 years, approximately 78.8% were fully vaccinated and 36.4% received a booster. Among Marylanders 6 months to 4 years old, about 9.6% received at least one shot of the Moderna and Pfizer pediatric vaccines authorized in June, with 2.6% percent fully vaccinated against Covid.
Community pediatricians, such as Columbia’s Dr. Monique Soileau-Berke said many parents of young children have not given their children the Covid vaccine because they believe the vaccine is new and potentially unsafe, and that Covid is not a serious threat. Health of your children.
“Many parents tell me that they think that COVID is not dangerous for children, but unfortunately this is not true. Like my colleagues, I have hospitalized young patients with severe COVID disease,” said Dr. Burke said. “And at least half of the children who are hospitalized with Covid nationwide had no underlying health problems before they got sick. I urge families to choose a safe and effective vaccine against a potentially dangerous disease.”
Of the children infected with COVID in the United States, more than 140,000 have been hospitalized and more than 1,700 have died since the pandemic began. More than 28 million children nationwide have received the vaccine, and evidence shows it is effective in preventing serious illness and hospitalization from COVID.
Maryland parents can find immunization information for their children, including information about COVID vaccines, at MarylandVax.org. Information for parents and caregivers on the cost of COVID and vaccines and encouraging back to school can be found here. Information for parents.
For more information on COVID-19 resources, visit covidLINK.maryland.gov.
The Maryland Department of Health is dedicated to protecting and improving the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management and community engagement.
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