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'We have to protect our kids' | Mid-South doctor, parent push for vaccinating children to slow the spread of COVID-19

The most contagious COVID-19 variant is spreading through Shelby County communities and unvaccinated kids could be hit the hardest.

MEMPHIS, Tenn — The most contagious COVID-19 variant is spreading through Shelby County communities and unvaccinated people could be hit the hardest. As of Thursday, Shelby County has had 18 cases of the Delta variant. 

Doctor Nick Hysmith, an associate professor of pediatric infectious diseases and medical director of infection prevention at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, said getting your children vaccinated is how we keep the numbers down. 

With Shelby County now fully open, and with kids out of school for the summer, Hysmith said they could have a higher risk of catching COVID-19. 

"I think it is very important that we get his group of individuals vaccinated quickly," he said. "We know that kids are starting to get together over the summer with camps and whatnot."

Hysmith said over the past year, vaccination rates across the board have declined since people have been staying home and not seeing their primary care provider. But, with the Delta variant spreading in our community, he's encouraging parents to make sure their children get the COVID-19 shot as soon as possible.  

"As we get ready to go back to school, it is going to be important to get vaccinated for COVID-19, and it is going to be important to get vaccinated for all the childhood illnesses," Hysmith.

Rafael Miranda, who got both his children fully vaccinated Saturday at a special event at Le Bonheur, agrees.

"I think it is very important for our children to be vaccinated. I mean, we have to protect our kids." 

Hysmith said COVID-19 is only preventable with the vaccine. As of Thursday, the Shelby County Health Department reports of the 300 active COVID-19 cases, and 92 are pediatric cases. 

Click here to find a COVID-19 vaccine clinic near you. 

Our Best Shot, Le Bonheur Children’s COVID-19 Vaccine Event is a smashing success where children (ages 12-18) and their...

Posted by Local Memphis on Saturday, June 26, 2021

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