With all the misinformation floating around about COVID-19 and vaccines, it’s easy to get confused.

But it’s actually clear-cut if you believe trusted health experts and health organizations that have been around for decades. Where people enter into dangerous waters is when they fall for bizarre conspiracy theories, half-baked rumors, unsubstantiated theories or outright lies churned out by some guy in his basement with a computer and too much time on his hands.

Some people, of course, feed right into that pipeline of misinformation. They like to boast to their friends that they’ve done the research, that they know more than anyone with a medical degree or organizations that have been studying diseases and vaccines for generations. They want to believe so badly that “the truth” is on their side, that they ignore credible sources or any counter arguments. After all, they reason, all those health experts and fact-checking organizations are “in on it.”

It’s hard to break through that kind of thinking but with so many lives on the line, it’s important to try.

The newspaper received a straight-forward news release last week from a highly reliable source, Todd County Health and Human Services, that cuts through all the “noise” out there regarding children and vaccines. Here it is:

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Although fewer children have been infected with COVID-19 compared to adults, children can:

  • Be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.

  • Get sick from COVID-19.

  • Spread COVID-19 to others.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends everyone 12 years and older should get a COVID-19 vaccination to help protect against COVID-19. Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic. Getting your child or teen vaccinated can bring you one step closer to enjoying the activities you miss.

Children 12 years and older are able to get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.

What you need to know:

  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.

  • COVID-19 vaccines have been used under the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history, which includes studies in adolescents.

  • Your child will need a second shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine three weeks after their first shot.

  • Your child can’t get COVID-19 from any COVID-19 vaccine, including the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

  • Your child may get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines at the same visit or without waiting 14 days between vaccines.

For more information on COVID-19 vaccine safety, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety.html

Please readers, spread this information to your family, friends and loved ones. Share facts, not falsehoods and fear. And don’t be duped by that guy in his basement.