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School is about to start and COVID cases are on the rise | How to keep students safe

Pediatricians are urging parents to get their kids the shot before school to protect them from COVID

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The start of the school year is just around the corner and COVID-19 cases are on the rise across California and the Sacramento region.

Over the summer, pediatricians have seen a lot of kids coming through their offices for sports physicals and to get their general vaccines, including the COVID vaccine.

Now, pediatricians are sounding the alarm that it's crucial for kids get the COVID vaccine even though it's not state mandated.

Dr. Steve Millar is a pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente and says a lot of parents are interested in allowing their kids to get the vaccine so they can live a more normal life.

There are two vaccines -- Moderna and Pfizer -- approved for children as young as six months.

Everybody over the age of 12 can get the booster, and kids who just turned 12 are now eligible for the adult booster.

Dr. Millar says getting the COVID vaccine is the best way to protect children as they head back to the classroom, but making sure your child has a mask when indoors gives an extra layer of protection.

“Certainly KN95 masks are fantastic. They do a good job of protecting you but you have the standard surgical mask, which is the mask that most people use, [which] offers a good deal of protection as well,” said Millar.

He recommends parents call their pediatricians as soon as possible because appointments are booking up fast.

WATCH MORE: NYT Poll: Why less than 1% of U.S. voters list COVID-19 as top priority

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