BOSTON (CBS) – A lot of parents are anxious to get their school-aged children vaccinated against COVID, but there are a lot of parents out there who may not be convinced yet.

As a pediatrician, I would say that is completely understandable. I’m also a mother, and I, too, always want to do what’s best for my kids. And even though I know a lot, there are times when I need to turn to my own pediatrician for advice or for answers. So I would say if you’re on the fence or you’re just not sure, ask a trusted source. Not the internet, not social media, not your friends or your neighbors, but ask a doctor or a nurse or another medical professional who can credibly answer any question you might have.

Related: CVS, Walgreens To Start Providing Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine For Kids 5-11 This Weekend

It is important to get the vaccine, even if kids this age don’t usually get very sick from COVID-19.

The keyword is “usually.”

Yes, they’re less likely to get sick but they can get sick. And they can get really sick. Almost 800 children have died from COVID in this country. That’s more than the flu, meningitis, chickenpox, and any other infectious diseases that children routinely get vaccinated for. More than 5,000 children have developed multisystem inflammatory syndrome that can land kids in the ICU. And we know that kids with a mild infection can have lingering symptoms like debilitating fatigue and muscle aches that can last for weeks. All of this is preventable with a vaccine that has been found to be more than 90-percent effective in this age group.

Some parents say they’re worried about possible side effects from the vaccine.

This vaccine is incredibly safe and is one of the most intensely studied vaccines in U.S. history. The dose is a third of that given to people ages 12 and up. Side effects tend to be milder and similar to those seen in older people such as pain at the injection site, headache, and muscle pain. But those symptoms usually resolve within a couple of days. In the clinical trials, so far there have really been no reports of serious side effects, including myocarditis in this age group.

And let me also put one other concern to rest. These vaccines do not cause fertility problems in kids, or in anyone for that matter. In fact, it’s biologically impossible for the vaccine to interfere with fertility.

It’s important to get kids vaccinated not only for their physical health but their mental health as well.

Like us, kids have pandemic fatigue. They also want to get back to life as they knew it. Normal school, sports, restaurants, indoor playdates, and birthday parties. This is the ticket to freedom for a lot of children. Masks can help protect them, but the best way to improve their social and emotional wellbeing is to get them vaccinated.

Dr. Mallika Marshall