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Pediatricians fighting against vaccine myths

“There's still a lot that are left to be immunized"
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Posted at 6:08 PM, Jul 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-28 18:11:13-04

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — Many parents initially rushed to get their children vaccinated in May when the Pfizer vaccine was approved for those 12 to 17, but that has slowed.

Local pediatricians tell 7 Eyewitness News when it comes to parents getting their child vaccinated against COVID-19 — it all comes down to trust.

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Dr. Steven Lana, Delaware Pediatrics.

“It would be tremendous if we could have all children that are of school age immunized,” declared Dr. Steven Lana, Delaware Pediatrics.

A new lot of the Pfizer COVID vaccines are being stored inside a refrigerator unit at Delaware Pediatrics in north Buffalo.

Dr. Lana tells me he's had an uptick in patients 12 years and older getting the vaccine at his office with others telling him they're getting the shot at local pharmacies.

“I’m pleasantly surprised that our patients seem to be very receptive to that and I can only hope that that will continue,” described Dr. Lana.

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Teenager getting vaccinated.

But Dr. Lana says there is still hesitancy among some parents.

“The overriding issue is one of trust — parents that aren't comfortable with immunizing their children have a certain amount of hesitancy because they just don't trust the advice or because they're hearing conflicting information,” remarked Dr. Lana.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says 9.2 million children under the age of 18 have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 7.1 million under 18 are fully vaccinated.

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COVID vaccine in refrigerator at Delaware Pediatrics.

The CDC says here in New York State, 38-percent of children ages 12 to 17 are fully vaccinated.

Dr. Kathleen Grisanti is president and medical director at Pediatric & Adolescent Urgent Care in Williamsville.

She says as the Delta variant continues to spread, she's seeing an increase in covid cases among those not vaccinated.

“I’m not sure I understand their reluctance of families,” explained Dr. Grisanti.

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Dr. Kathleen Grisanti in Zoom interview.

“Have you yourself spoken to a family that you've had to convince to get the vaccine?” Buckley asked.

“I have and all of my patients — I encourage them to get the vaccine and I think that there's so much information out there that not all of it is correct and accurate,” Dr. Grisanti noted.

Dr. Lana said he’s also working to educate families.

“That's probably the single most common conversation I have with families at the well visits and at the sick visits is just to try educate as much as I can, to try to answer as many questions as I can about why the vaccine is so important,” replied Dr. Lana.

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COVID vaccine.

“The emergency use authorization is a little bit misleading because that implies that it is not fully approved and that's really just a function of how long the vaccine has been in the marketplace,” Dr. Lana remarked.

Both pediatricians say as the new school year approaches, they expect to see an increase in those 12 and over looking to be vaccinated.

“I do think that we will hopefully be seeing an increase in the immunization rate in 12 to 18 year olds,” Dr. Grisanti said.

“There's still a lot that are left to be immunized,” responded Dr. Lana.

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COVID vaccines for children.

The CDC has a full list of 'myths and facts' about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Here are just a few of those myths and facts from the CDC:

  • CAN COVID CAUSE YOU TO BECOME MAGNETIC? NO. CDC SAYS COVID VACCINES DO NOT CONTAIN INGREDIENTS THAT CAN PRODUCE AN ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELD.
  • IS IT SAFE FOR WOMAN WHO WANT TO GET PREGNANT? ACCORDING TO THE CDC, YES, IT IS SAFE WITH CURRENTLY NO EVIDENCE IT CAUSES PROBLEMS WITH PREGNANCY. THE CDC ALSO STATES “THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT FEMALE OR MALE FERTILITY PROBLEMS ARE A SIDE EFFECT OF ANY VACCINE, INCLUDING COVID-19".
  • WILL IT ALTER MY DNA? NO. THE CDC STATES THE COVID-19 VACCINE “DOES NOT CHANGE OR INTERACT WITH YOUR DNA IN ANY WAY.”

You can click here to learn more.