NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Dr. Joseph Gigante cares for some of the sickest pediatric patients at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. He’s seen a rise in children needing hospital care for extreme cases of COVID and wanted to share why he believes vaccines keep children healthy.

“I want to share that kind of peace of mind that we have in the medical community, with the viewers and with the patients and the families out there,” Dr. Gigante said.

He first tackled the issue of misinformation.

“Don’t rely necessarily on information, perhaps you’re getting from Facebook or social media, or, you know, anecdotal stories, a friend’s neighbors’ cousin had some kind of reaction,” Dr. Gigante said. “This is something that we study extensively. We are here to protect patients, protect families.”

This leads to his second point — safety.

“If there’s going to be some kind of negative side effect it’s typically seen in the first several days, first few weeks, a month or two afterward,” explained Dr. Gigante.

This statement is supported by information published by the CDC that outlines complications for every vaccine commonly administered to children and the time frame in which it happens.

“We’ve given so many hundreds and millions of doses, we would have seen some kind of serious side effect by now,” Dr. Gigante continued.

Furthermore, he said, the dosage of vaccines is continuously studied closely in children.

“A great analogy is the MMR the Measles vaccine. It used to be a one-dose series that we would give around a year of age and that we thought that was going to provide children enough protection,” Dr. Gigante said.

It was later increased to a two-dose series.

“That’s a great example of how we, in medicine, do the research and study the vaccines and look at the schedule and see how we can provide the very best protection to our children to prevent disease,” said Dr. Gigante.

His third point addresses timing for protection.

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“If you have a child over age five, and they’re eligible to get the vaccine, and they haven’t gotten it yet, please now’s the time to do it before we see this huge spike in omicron in Nashville,” said Dr. Gigante. “Get your child vaccinated now.”