Join Us: What Parents Need to Know About COVID Vaccines for 5-11 Year Olds


A pediatrician wrote the most read November opinion piece on

Dr Susan Hata, a graduate of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, wrote a comprehensive and well-researched guest column, encouraging parents to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19 now that 5 to 11 years are allowed to be vaccinated.

“Contracting COVID-19 is not trivial for a child,” wrote Hata, who practices medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and teaches at Harvard Medical School.

However, data is often not enough for some people, and in our polarized times, scientific expertise has become politicized.

RN Bonnie Pilon punches 9-year-old Amya Elliott after receiving her first dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital in Vanderbilt on Monday, November 8, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn.

States, including Tennessee, have canceled COVID restrictions, but leaders, including Gov. Bill Lee, recognize that the vaccine is one of the best tools to fight COVID-19.

Still, it’s only natural for people to have their worries, fears, and questions, because science has advanced so quickly and federal guidelines on masks and vaccines haven’t always been consistent.

Additionally, while the Tennessee General Assembly recently banned schools from imposing masks except under emergency conditions, the new law is challenged in federal court. The legal battle is creating widespread confusion and dismay.

That’s why the Tennessean is hosting a virtual panel in partnership with the Metro Nashville Public Schools Parent Advisory Council at 7 p.m. CST on Thursday, December 2, to address concerns and answer questions about the vaccine as well as the wearing of face masks. ‘school.

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Here’s who’s on the panel

The Tennessean has already partnered with the MNPS PAC to present a live broadcast on August 3 on safety and back to school.

In the August panel, the pediatrician Dr Rosemary Hunter answered medical questions and panelists included school board members Christiane Buggs and Emily Masters.

For the December panel, Hunter will return and join the following panelists:

  • Dr Buddy Creech, Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program

  • Tene Franklin, a parent representative of the Pearl Cohn Group

  • David Maxwell, a parent representative of the Hillwood cluster

  • Rachel Anne Elrod, MNPS School Board Member, District 2

I will be the moderator of the panel.

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How to watch and ask questions

According to the Parent Advisory Council: “The main objective of this event is to provide information to our MNPS parents so that they can make informed decisions for their children, families and the school community.

You can watch the show on in this section or on The Tennessee YouTube channel.

We invite you to watch and ask productive questions and comments.

Send me your questions in advance to [email protected]

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David Plazas is the Director of Opinion and Engagement for USA TODAY Network Tennessee. He is a member of the editorial board of The Tennessean. It hosts the Tennessee Voices Video Conferencing and organize the Tennessee voice and Latin voice Tennessee newsletters. Call him at (615) 259-8063, email him at [email protected] or tweet him at @davidplazas.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: COVID vaccine: what parents need to know about inoculating children