NAACP presents third forum on children and vaccinations

By Page H. Gifford


The Fluvanna NAACP is sponsoring a third virtual health forum on Thursday, Aug. 19, at 7 p.m. Their forums focus on current health issues and the previous two discussions centered on information regarding COVID-19. Medical experts answer questions and present important information on how we can keep ourselves safe during the COVID pandemic. It is free and accessible by the public.

“Part of our mission is to help educate and inform the public on issues related to health and education. With a return to school and a rise in cases due to the Delta variant, we want to provide valuable information to the community to help keep our community safe and healthy,” said Sharon Harris, communications chair for the Fluvanna chapter.

Though it seemed as if we might be conquering COVID by getting everyone vaccinated, our progress reached an impasse when some refused to get vaccinated and others refused to wear masks. While we still are in the midst of a health crisis, added to the mix are children returning to school which presents another issue to be debated.

According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, as of Aug. 5, 4.3 million children tested positive for COVID-19 across the U.S. Nearly 94,000 cases were reported that week, a 31 percent increase since the 72,000 cases reported the previous week, and 39,000 the week before. Parents questioned whether it is the Delta variant that is responsible for the uptick in cases. Hospitalizations and death are rare among children effected with COVID-19,  and is less than two percent. Nevertheless, hospitalizations are up in children’s hospitals and experts believe this trend will increase over two to three months.

“We are also aware of the disparities in health access and health outcomes and we want to draw on the resources of local medical experts to reduce barriers, promote informed decision making, and help keep our community healthy,” she said. Dr. Taison Bell, Dr. Paige Perriello, and Dr. Denise Bonds will be answering questions as to what parents can do to keep their children safe, particularly since they are returning to school.

Dr. Bell is a leading expert on infectious diseases and critical care medicine and has served as a national medical resource as he has appeared as a medical expert on numerous national media broadcasts. Dr. Perriello is a local pediatrician with the Charlottesville Pediatrics Associates and a member of the Virginia Chapter of the National Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Perriello has led community vaccine efforts for children. Dr. Bonds is the Director of the Blue Ridge Health District and will provide information on the many efforts of BRHD to make vaccines widely available in the community including a mobile vaccine unit and in-home vaccinations.

One reason for the hesitancy regarding vaccines is that many, including parents, feel it was rushed and there is not enough information about the long-term effects of the vaccines. According to John Hopkins, the COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna were created with a method that has been in development for years, so the companies could start the vaccine development process early in the pandemic. China had also isolated and shared genetic information about COVID-19 so scientists could start working on vaccines. Some types of COVID-19 vaccines were created using messenger RNA (mRNA), which allows the process to progress more quickly than the traditional way that vaccines are made. With advanced technology and modern methods in science, the ability to get the vaccines out early was achieved.

The vaccine developers didn’t skip any testing steps but conducted some of the steps on an overlapping schedule to gather data faster. Other factors included social media helping companies find and engage willing study volunteers for COVID-19 vaccine research and because the virus is so contagious and widespread, it didn’t take long to see if the vaccine worked for the study volunteers who were vaccinated. The companies also began manufacturing their vaccines before FDA authorization, so some supplies were ready when authorization occurred. Teamwork and effort from all involved helped to get the vaccines to the public, showing everyone can work together for a common goal.

Regarding children 12 and under and vaccination, data is still be gathered and studies are being done to assess many factors including proper dosage. But the BRHD recommends all school staff and children wear masks. Transmission in Fluvanna is moderate but surrounding counties have a transmission rate that is high or substantial among their populations.

The other issue is where to get reliable and factual information. It has been no surprise that there has been misinformation floating around social media and on websites. Check the sources. The CDC is the best source for up-to-date information and state health departments.

and–News-08-06-21.html?soid=1134059434350&aid=NQpD7ZGX3YU for the latest information and school protocols.

Related Posts

dewi88 cuanslot dragon77 cuan138 enterslots rajacuan megahoki88 ajaib88 warung168 fit188 pusatwin pusatwin slot tambang88 mahkota88 slot99 emas138