Some Troup County parents hesitant to vaccinate children approaching the school year

LaGrange Bureau

In this Wednesday, March 24, 2021 image from video provided by Duke Health, Alejandra Gerardo, 9, looks up to her mom, Dr. Susanna Naggie, as she gets the first of two Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations during a clinical trial for children at Duke Health in Durham, N.C. In the U.S. and abroad, researchers are beginning to test younger and younger kids, to make sure the shots are safe and work for each age. (Shawn Rocco/Duke Health via AP)

LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – District 4 Public Health has seen an some hesitancy among parents to vaccinate their children with the COVID-19 vaccine for the upcoming school year.

Hayla Folden, the Media Relations Specialist for District 4 Public Health, said she finds the hesitancy interesting because everyone is receiving the same vaccine. She finds that often times parents are receiving the vaccine but holding back from vaccinating their children.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s being recommended by a friend, a family member or a pediatrician, public health. It doesn’t matter, the same amount of hesitancy is still there for parents,” said Folden.

Folden said parents tend to do more research and ask more questions before vaccinating their children with any vaccine. She said it is a natural tendency for parents to be more protective of what they put in their child’s body.

She also said many parents are concerned with what the long term effects will be on fertility regardless of what the scientific data has shown. There is no link between the COVID-19 vaccine and fertility.

“Because there’s no long term results, there’s no way to know what the long term side effects are going to be, people are just not willing to take those chances,” said Folden.

Folden said with the return of the school year and fall sports she believes this is a really good time for children to get vaccinated especially with the rise of the delta variant. Children who are vaccinated will not be as likely to miss school due to quarantine regulations if exposed to COVID-19.

Yolanda Stephen, the Director of Public Relations for the Troup County School System, said the school board has not yet released their COVID-19 guidelines for the upcoming school year so they have not had pushback from parents regarding vaccines. However, they intend to respect each family’s choice on vaccinating their children.

“As we go into the new school year, we will have our COVID-19 protocols and that includes communication and quarantining when necessary. So that may be something that parents are thinking through as they are considering vaccinations for their students,” said Stephen.

TCSS has also given parents the option to enroll their children in virtual learning for the upcoming school year. Stephen said TCSS believes in in-person learning however, if any parent is considering virtual learning they should contact their child’s school to ensure the child will be learning properly.

TCSS will be hosting a board meeting that will address safety protocols for the upcoming school year at 100 N. Davis Rd. on July 15, 2021 at 5:30 p.m.

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