(WHTM) — Pa. Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson and pediatricians Dr. Trude Haecker and Dr. Swathi Gowtham joined Facebook Live to talk about and answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11.

This is a part of the Vax Facts series aimed to give relevant and accurate information to Pennsylvanians.

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“The Pfizer pediatric vaccine is safe, and it is highly effective at protecting children against COVID-19-related illness, hospitalization, and death,” Dr. Johnson said during the Live. “Vaccinating children against COVID-19 is the best way to keep families and communities healthy and safe – while also keeping schools safe and open for in-person learning.”

The panel pointed out that children ages five to 11 are only able to receive the Pfizer pediatric vaccine, while children ages 12 through 17 may receive the Pfizer 12+ vaccine.

“The approval of the COVID-19 vaccination for children ages 5 through 11 assures that these children can now be offered the same level of protection against COVID-19 that has been offered to older children and adults,” Dr. Swathi Gowtham, MD, FAAAP, board-certified and fellowship-trained specialist in pediatric infectious diseases from Danville, said. 

According to Dr. Gowtham, around 600 American children have died of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

“This vaccine provides the best protection we have against this virus. The pandemic has taken a toll not only on the physical health of children, but also on their social, developmental, and emotional health,” Dr. Trude Haecker, MD, FAAP, President of the PA Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics and General Pediatrician from Philadelphia, said.

The panelists say they hope families can have a healthier holiday season this winter, “if all those who are eligible get their COVID-19 and Influenza vaccines.”

You can watch Facebook Live at this link.