Local physicians address vaccine misinformation and children vaccinations

Physicians speak on the importance of breaking down barriers between the vaccine and misinformation

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – Since the CDC approved Pfizer’s vaccine for children ages 5-11, two weeks ago,  more than 26,000 children in the state of Tennessee have been vaccinated.

That may seem like a large number,  but it only equates to .7% of the population thus far.

Hamilton County currently has over 29,000 children residing in the county and so far around 2,000 have had at least one vaccine of the two dose series.

Physicians say that’s great progress, but we need more children vaccinated if we are going to beat this deadly virus.

“If my grandkids got a serious case, I could never forgive myself when we have such a safe vaccine to give. The safety with this vaccine is astonishing. Theres a lot of misinformation about it on the internet but we have given hundreds of millions of doses and serious side effects have been vanishingly rare,” says Dr. Mark Anderson, CHI Memorial

The city’s Director of Community Health says it’s important that we make vaccines easily accessible and that we communicate the facts to parents and children. 

“If parents can rest assured that it’s safe and effective and then prepare their children for the vaccination the way they would for the vaccinations that children probably already have. How do you prepare their children? Let them know what’s going to happen- your arm may hurt or itch but that’s it. It’s a stick and then you are going to be able to see more people now because you are protected,” says Dr. Mary Lambert, Director of Community Health.

Physicians say there is a lot of misinformation surrounding the myocarditis side effect-but that it has not been observed  in this age group.

“You have a much higher risk of getting myocarditis and a serious and dangerous form of it if you get infected with Covid. It’s about 50-60% times higher risk of that happening if you get covid. You are at much higher risk if you are not vaccinated,” says Dr. Anderson.

The Hamilton County Health Department has added two more upcoming vaccination events for children ages 5-11. 

Saturday, November 20th at the health department’s pediatric clinic. 921 East 3rd St, Chattanooga, TN 37403.

  •       By appointment only.
  •       From 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.


Tuesday, November 23rd, East Ridge Elementary Gymnasium,

  •       By appointment only.
  • Open to all children ages 5-11 not just Hamilton County students
  •       From 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.”


Categories: Chattanooga, COVID-19, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News