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As students head back to class, UofL Health answers parent questions about COVID-19, vaccines

With many heading back to school this week, parents are asking a lot of questions about whether to vaccinate their kids. A UofL doctor shares her insight.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Masks, the vaccine, are all topics you are hearing each day. As kids head back to school, doctors are saying both are what is going to keep children safe and in the classroom.

Each day parents come to Dr. Lydia Samples with concerns about vaccinating their children.

"Do you feel secure enough in the vaccine to do it for your own kids," they ask.

She gives them a firm yes, both of her two children who attend Jefferson County Public Schools have been vaccinated.

Some people that are skeptical of the vaccine say it came out too fast or it has adverse side effects on children. Samples, the medical director of UofL's Urgent Care Plus said those things are false.

"I wish we would see people realizing that the vaccine is safe, that the masks are safe that there are not conspiracy theories of infertility or carbon monoxide poisoning," she said.

Recently, Dr. Samples has seen an increase in testing and in an increase in positive COVID tests among children. She's concerned as the numbers begin to climb.

"The vast majority of the kids we have seen are unvaccinated or unable to be vaccinated," she said.

According to the CDC, an average of 192 children with COVID-19 were admitted to hospitals in the US every day over the past week.

At Norton Children's, in the past two months, there have been 287 positive COVID-19 cases among those ages 12 to 17-years-old compared to 182 at this time last year.

Samples recognizes that some parents may have wanted to wait a certain amount of time before vaccinating their children, but she said it's now time to vaccinate their children.

"The vaccine has been out for close to 10 months now. Usually, with any new medication any new drug, we always say six months is reasonable time to be concerned about safety," she said.

Samples has concerns about the virus mutating again.

"More children are going to be impacted because mostly older people are getting the vaccine. The children who are not able to get vaccinated or not getting vaccinated are going to produce more strains.”

Contact reporter Elle Smith at esmith@whas11.com or on her social media outlets: Facebook or Twitter.  

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