Orlando pediatricians urge COVID-19 vaccinations
Image via AP.

COVID-19 vaccination shot in Missouri.
'We all want the same thing. We want this pandemic over.'

With federal approval for COVID-19 vaccinations for younger school-age children imminent, two Orlando pediatricians Thursday urged parents to vaccinate their children when federal approval comes — and to vaccinate themselves.

“That’s how you express to your children the fact that you care about them, the fact that you love them. This is what responsible parenting and membership in a community is all about,” said Dr. Kenneth Alexander, the pediatrics infectious disease resident at Nemour’s Children’s Health in Orlando.

Alexander and Dr. Adriana Cadilla, a pediatric infectious disease consultant at Nemours, spoke Thursday at Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings‘ biweekly COVID-19 update briefing. They made it clear they harbor no doubts that vaccinating children — or anyone — would be the right thing to do if and when federal approval comes, which they expect.

Their pleas came the day after Pfizer turned over its data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on its vaccination trials on children 5-11. Both anticipated those data would lead to federal approval, perhaps within a couple of weeks.

“We’re very hopeful that soon we can extend this vaccination to those ages 5 and up, hopefully, even those younger than that, maybe by winter time, the holiday season,” Cadilla said.

“The vaccine appears to be the best tool we have to get out of this pandemic and to return things to the way they were,” she said.

Cadilla and Alexander, who disclosed he has served as a consultant for Moderna, one of the vaccine makers, urged parents to talk to their pediatricians if they have any questions or doubts.

Alexander made a plea for compassion, for people who have COVID-19, for those who have lost family members and friends and especially for people who are unvaccinated,

He said they are the ones with the burdens of worry and uncertainty, of grief, of loss of family members, and are the ones who remain at high risk of getting sick.

“We all want the same thing. We want this pandemic over. We want it over with our family and friends health. We want to do the right thing for our children. We want to see our businesses up and running. We want our tourists back. And I want to get rid of this damn mask,” said the masked doctor.

“We want to get life back to normal. Unfortunately SARS-CoV-2 had other ideas in July and we saw the emergence of the delta variant. And as Dr. (Raul) Pino (director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County) has just shared with us, the ravages of delta have exceeded anything that we have seen so far, not only because it seems to be more infectious among our adults, but because it also has played an important role among our children,” he said.

He noted that vaccinations and herd immunity are among the tools to stop it, but he gave a dark observation on herd immunity.

“It’s very, very expensive: 660,000 Americans couldn’t wait for herd immunity and their families wished they had a vaccine,” Alexander said of the COVID-19 death toll in the United States. “And in Orange County, 2,000 of our friends and neighbors didn’t get vaccinated and couldn’t make it. So vaccination is still the best tool we have because no one has to die to get immunity.”

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


  • Jerry

    September 30, 2021 at 7:53 pm

    How do you get herd immunity with a vaccine that doesn’t make you immune or stop the spread?

    Why do people keep comparing this vaccine to Measles or Polio? Those vaccines make you IMMUNE. They stop the spread. These COVID vaccines are nowhere near as effective. All the COVID vaccines do is lessen the symptoms. They WILL NOT end the pandemic. The virus will still spread. It will still mutate. This will go on until we find a vaccine that actually makes you immune.

    The fact the media and SOME health officials and politicians continue to claim this vaccine is going to get us to herd immunity and end the pandemic just tells me how untrustworthy everyone is. These people are lying to my face hyping up a vaccine that doesn’t stop you from getting infected! Stop lying!

    I mean Christ almighty you see the picture of Joe Biden getting a booster shot while wearing a mask??? Am I the only one thinking how absolutely stupid that looks? He’s vaccinated! Yet he’s wearing a mask to get a booster shot???? Oh…but these vaccines are going to end the pandemic!

    What a crock of crap!

    • Alex

      September 30, 2021 at 8:14 pm

      Starting off with a lie doesn’t endear you to the reader bubba.

      In fact, they just think you’re an idiot and won’t read further.

      • Dan

        October 1, 2021 at 3:04 pm

        If the vaccine makes you immune, why do you still have to wear a mask? That just doesn’t make sense. A vaccine is supposed to stop infection. That’s what every prior vaccine has done. Polio, smallpox, MMR, etc. these vaccines were designed to stop you from spreading the disease. Thats why no one gets those viruses in this country anymore. That’s the reason they were mandated in schools.

        When I got my booster shot for measles and mumps back in the 90s I don’t remember having to need to wear a mask. I guess that’s a new thing now when you get a vaccine booster shot? You have to wear a mask?

        I agree with the poster above. You all keep saying these vaccines are going to end the pandemic and stop the spread of COVID. How? If you want to say that they will lower the risk of death, then say that. But don’t make wild claims that they are going to eliminate COVID. They won’t. If it did, all these other countries with high vaccine rates wouldn’t be seeing surging cases.

        If these vaccines halted the spread and prevented infection (the way practically every other vaccine does), you’d have over 90% of the population vaccinated by now because they realize the importance in stopping the spread and eradicating the infection. If the vaccine fails to do that, then the psychology shifts. The vaccine is viewed more as a mitigation tool for the individual only. You being vaccinated doesn’t protect me.

        • Alex

          October 1, 2021 at 4:00 pm

          Why are you so lazy?

          A google search that might take 20 seconds out of your life answers that.


          • Dan

            October 1, 2021 at 7:45 pm

            So you aren’t going to answer any of the questions? These are the questions anti-vaxxers have. And I think many of them are very legit questions.

            Did you wear a face mask during your Measles booster shot? Why is Biden wearing a mask to get a booster shot when he’s been vaccinated and the person giving the shot is vaccinated? What purpose is that mask serving? Who is it protecting if this vaccine is so wonderful?

            And how is this vaccine going to eradicate a virus that doesn’t stop it from spreading? Why are countries with high vaccination rates seeing surging cases? When we all got Polio and Measles vaccines, the cases dropped like a rock. Why aren’t COVID cases dropping at all in highly vaccinated countries? Our left-wing media is useless and in the tank with Biden. So we don’t get the answers to these questions. And you can’t trust anything you get from Google because they censor everything.

        • Alex

          October 1, 2021 at 7:52 pm

          If you think Google censors everything, you’re too far gone into far right la la Qanon/Trumpistan land to waste my time on.

    • tjb

      October 4, 2021 at 11:41 am

      Florida has 6.5% of the USA population, but it has 8% of the USA Covid deaths.
      DeSantis’s Florida leads the nation in the highest percentage of Covid death.

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Comments are closed.


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