Montana doctor addresses concerns with COVID vaccine for kids

Posted at 12:34 PM, Nov 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-15 14:39:54-05

The CDC has recommended that children five to 11 years old receive the COVID vaccine, and a Kaiser Family Foundation survey taken before the emergency use authorization shows about 27% would have their children vaccinated.

That survey also shows other parents are very or somewhat concerned with long term effects of the vaccine (76%) and about serious side effects (71%).

"It's good to go through those things with your family doctor or with your pediatrician to understand," said Dr. Garth Brand, director of Riverstone's Montana Family Medicine Residency program. "Unfortunately, this is a new vaccine. And so we're learning about it and we're not necessarily going to know what a lot of those things are."

Brand said during a vaccine clinic at MetraPark on Saturday that he recommends children get the COVID vaccine.

Another parental concern in the survey is that 66 percent are concerned or somewhat concerned about their child's fertility in the future.

Dr. Garth Brand.jpg
KTVQ photo

"People have been concerned about infertility and there was a lot of worry about pregnant moms about whether they should get it or not," Brand said. "That has not been borne out and that is not based on data that has shown that there's any linkages there."

Many have made entries on the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which states:

VAERS is a passive reporting system, meaning it relies on individuals to send in reports of their experiences to CDC and FDA. VAERS is not designed to determine if a vaccine caused a health problem, but is especially useful for detecting unusual or unexpected patterns of adverse event reporting that might indicate a possible safety problem with a vaccine. This way, VAERS can provide CDC and FDA with valuable information that additional work and evaluation is necessary to further assess a possible safety concern.

"There's a lot of confusion about how those adverse events are reported," Brand said. "The CDC is going through and doing their due diligence and making sure that we're tracking the adverse events that we're seeing actively. There are definitely some adverse events, but in general, the vast majority of people do really well with the vaccine. They tolerate it well, and they're going to be protected afterward, which is really important."