Carle pediatrician to host vaccine Q&A

Online blog “chambanamoms” has announced a live discussion with Carle Foundation pediatrician, Brent Reifsteck. The virtual event will be held Tuesday at 8pm.
“We will be discussing the anticipated arrival of the COVID vaccine for children ages 5-11. Start thinking of questions you would like Dr. Reifsteck to address,” a Facebook post reads.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has yet to issue guidance on vaccinating children between the ages of five and 11. The US Food and Drug Administration is set to discuss authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are still not approved for use with children.

The blog posted an interview with Reifsteck in June to discuss vaccinating children.

“The negatives of the effects that we’ve seen reported, many of them haven’t been mathematically linked to the actual vaccine,” Reifsteck said in June. “The vaccine reporting system — you can report anything and then it gets put up on the list until it can be investigated.”

Tomorrow’s “chat” with Reifsteck comes during a week when over 78% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Carle Health Facilities are unvaccinated, and all 18 patients in the ICU for COVID-19 are unvaccinated, the hospital reported. Some parents are concerned about the long term effects of the vaccine if administered to children, while Reifsteck expressed his concern for not vaccinating children in June.

“We have a group of patients who can’t be vaccinated, and that could be a pool, in a group of patients who refuse to be vaccinated, and that’s a whole other pool of people to create a variant,” Reifsteck said. According to the Johns Hopkins Medicine website, several COVID-19 variants have been identified since the beginning of the pandemic. The CDC recommends vaccination to prevent severe infection in those who contract COVID-19. However, the CDC cannot yet say whether the vaccines will remain effective against new variants that may still emerge.

The live Q&A with Dr. Reifsteck will be held on the “chambanamoms” Facebook page.