Hattiesburg pediatrician encourages vaccinations ahead of school year


HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – With coronavirus cases rising again in Mississippi, a local pediatrician is encouraging parents to get their kids vaccinated.

Across the country, students are set to return back to the classroom next month. Pediatrician Dr. Anita Henderson said it is critical parents get their kids vaccinated to protect them from the new COVID-19 variants.

Henderson, who works at the Pediatric Clinic in Hattiesburg, encouraged parents to talk to their doctors if they have any concerns. 

“I really encourage parents to go ahead and get their child in and ask those questions to their pediatrician or family practice doctor, and protect them against coronavirus,” she said.

Even though children have the lowest risk for severe COVID-19 infection, Henderson said the clinic has seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases among young people.

“The majority of the Delta variant that we’re seeing now, the average age is around 20. So, we are seeing many more cases of coronavirus in the younger population,” she said. “We have concerns when school starts it’s going to continue to spread even more in the younger age ranges.”

Henderson said the benefits of getting the vaccine will ultimately outweigh the risks.

“The most important thing I want parents to understand is that we want them to have a normal school year this fall. We want our children to be safe and protected, and this vaccine is now a tool that we can have in our tool kit to protect our children, as well as the adults around them. So, now is the time to go ahead and get that appointment with your pediatrician and get your child vaccinated.”

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