Vaccines for Children Could Help End the Pandemic

Featuring news about vaccine authorization for children aged 5-11 and the Omicron variant


Fernanda Matias, Editor of Passion

The Covid-19 pandemic has been widespread and detrimental. With the recent introduction of the Covid-19 vaccine, more age groups have been permitted to be immunized against the disease. However, plenty of controversy stems from this solution, especially surrounding vaccine authorization for children ages 5-11. Because safety is a number one priority, allowing children to get the vaccine will only advance efforts to end the pandemic.

On December 11, 2020, the first vaccine against Covid-19 was issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Since then, the vaccine has been made available to more age groups.

Three vaccines are approved in the United States to prevent Covid-19: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was approved for children ages 5-11 on October 29, 2021. Allowing people aged five and up to get vaccinated has improved safety in the United States because it increases vaccination rates. Ultimately, parents of children aged 5-11 in the United States should vaccinate their children to promote safety. 

Although data reveals that children often do not experience harsh side effects of Covid and are notably less affected by it when compared to adults, children are still capable of acquiring severe lung infections. They may even require hospitalization because of Covid-19. Acute effects of Covid in children may even include death, though this is much more likely in adults. Vaccines for children allow a higher degree of safety for children since the current vaccines are still effective in preventing severe illness from the Delta variant of the virus.

In addition to this, high vaccination rates prevent the emergence of other variants of Covid. Reducing viral transmission diminishes the chances of the virus mutating into other, potentially more dangerous, variants. Allowing children to be vaccinated benefits everyone in the United States since children construct a large percentage of the population. Ultimately, the more people who are vaccinated, the better.

Aside from the health benefits of acquiring the vaccine, there are also the psychological benefits of leading a more normal life. In protecting children from Covid-19, they would be more capable of participating in everyday activities. Hanging out with friends, going to school, or even going to the grocery store may be difficult with the constant risk of contracting the disease. Children would be capable of leading a much healthier and more normal lifestyle while immunized.

The recent introduction of the omicron variant has induced more significant worry and concern worldwide. The variant was first recognized in South Africa, and the United States immediately took action by restricting travel for non-U.S. citizens from South Africa on November 29, 2021.

On November 24, 2021, a new variant of Sars-CoV-2 was reported to the World Health Organization (WHO). On November 26, this variant was identified as Omicron and classified as a Variant of Concern by WHO. And, most recently, the first confirmed U.S. case of Omicron was identified on December 1, 2021. It is yet unknown how quickly this new variant spreads, how severe its symptoms are, and whether available vaccines work against it.

While greater issues stemming from the global pandemic continue to arise, it is essential to maintain and remain consistent with safety measures enforced by the CDC and continue doing your part in implementing safety for yourself and others.