Judi Hayes, a Florida mother, said she couldn’t wait to get her 10-year-old son, Will, back into the classroom. However, she persists until he can be vaccinated.
“He’s sad. He misses his friends and his teachers and the Special Olympics tennis,” said Hayes, whose child has Down syndrome and has been doing virtual learning since the pandemic began in spring 2020.
Hayes said she excluded her son from face-to-face learning because his Down syndrome puts him at greater risk of complications from Covid-19. She and a handful of other parents are currently suing Governor Ron DeSantis and state education officials over the governor’s ban on masking obligations in schools. Will’s 13-year-old brother is vaccinated and goes to class, albeit masked.
Parents lead their children on the first day of school amid the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) at West Tampa Elementary School in Tampa, Florida, the United States, Aug. 10, 2021.
Octavio Jones | Reuters
“He doesn’t really understand why his brother goes to school and he doesn’t,” said Hayes. “This is where the vaccine comes in. We’ll get him vaccinated as soon as possible and hopefully he can go back to school in January.”
While the Biden administration takes care of the compilation and dispatch of cans of. begins Pfizer‘s and BioNTechAs early as this week, some parents say they are preparing their children for a return to “normal” – face-to-face learning, exercise, and other extracurricular activities that are largely conducted, “s Covid vaccine for children ages 5-11 for vaccinations as early as this week were holding on because of the pandemic.
Even though the daily number of Covid cases in the US is falling, the virus infects an average of more than 72,000 Americans per day, according to a CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. Children make up a larger proportion of new infections.
Children aged 5 to 11 made up 10.6% of all reported Covid cases nationwide for the week ending October 10, despite the fact that they make up about 8.7% of the US population, according to data Data compiled from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although children are less prone to serious illnesses than adults, a small proportion of them do. At least 5,217 children have suffered from Childhood Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, or MIS-C, a rare but serious complication associated with Covid.
Fully vaccinating 1 million children aged 5 to 11 would prevent 58,000 Covid infections, 241 hospital stays, 77 ICU stays and one death a modeled scenario published by the Food and Drug Administration last week. Up to 106 children would have vaccine-induced myocarditis, but most would recover, according to the agency.
A student is attending an online class from home in Miami, Florida, United States on Thursday, September 3, 2020.
Eva Marie Uzcategui | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Children are generally less severely infected, but “they can get infected to the point where they suffer and are hospitalized and die,” said Dr. Paul Offit, pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a member of the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee.
Offit joined his colleagues on the FDA committee last week Pfizer vaccine recommendation for young children. “The benefit of vaccinating children is obvious,” he said.
The White House said it had raised enough doses to vaccinate all 28 million 5-11 year olds in the US and said it started the process on Friday of taking 15 million doses from Pfizer’s freezers and facilities to transport the distribution centers. The FDA approved the doses on Friday, and a CDC panel is expected to make a recommendation on the doses on Tuesday. CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky could sign out soon afterwards.
The cans will have different directions and packaging to help medical providers not to confuse the shots with the company’s doses for people over 12, officials said. The vaccine is given in smaller doses in children, one third of the dose for adolescents and adults.
States are already preparing. California health authorities, for example said Wednesday The state will have 4,000 sites ready to deliver 1.2 million Covid vaccinations to children ages 5-11 once the vaccines are approved by federal agencies.
Katie O’Shaughnessey, an educator and mother of three who lives in Connecticut, said her 10-year-old daughter Maeve asked to be injected for her birthday in a few weeks. She said they are already trying to make an appointment with a local pediatrician.
Aside from attending school and some extracurricular activities, O’Shaughnessey said that she and her wife didn’t allow their daughter much else. While she acknowledged that children are generally less at risk of severe Covid, they are not at risk.
“For them this is their freedom,” she said. “We didn’t allow her to go to a restaurant. We didn’t see a show. A neighbor of ours was on a show in the theater, like on a professional tour, and we wanted her to see her friend and we said, ‘Sorry, you can’t go.’ “
O’Shaughnessey said she doesn’t know of any parents who say they are reluctant to get their child vaccinated – although surveys show many parents in the U.S. are reluctant.
According to a survey published by the Kaiser Family Foundation on Thursday a third of the parents in the US say they would not vaccinate their children between the ages of 5 and 11 immediately and wait to see how the vaccine roll-out goes. The main concerns parents have about vaccinating their children have to do with “possible unknown long-term effects and serious side effects of the vaccine,” Kaiser said.
Pfizer says its study, which included more than 3,000 children who received the vaccine, found the syringes were well tolerated, with the most common side effects being mild and comparable to those seen in a study of teenagers and adults in old age From 16 to 25 years of age, effects for adolescents and adults are fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever and nausea, according to the CDC.
A boy rides his bike past a sign at the Pershing School in Orlando, advising that face masks are required for students until October 30, 2021.
Paul Hennessy | LightRakete | Getty Images
Still, federal agencies say they are monitoring for rare heart infections, myocarditis, and pericarditis, which have occurred in a very small number of young adults who have received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. There were no cases of myocarditis in Pfizer’s study for children, but officials said the study may have been too small to identify the rare heart disease.
Dr. Theodore Ruel, director of the Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of California, San Francisco, said parents’ concerns are understandable, especially since mRNA vaccines are a relatively new technology that many people are unfamiliar with.
“But at the end of the day it’s just like a regular vaccine, that is, you get this protein from the virus and your body reacts to it,” he said. “I’m afraid that part of the innovation angle may have mystified it, even though it works in the same way as other vaccines.”
Lora Vail, a Florida parent, said she wasn’t hesitant about getting her 6-year-old son, Cooper, vaccinated. She and her husband are already fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine and have an appointment to get a booster dose.
“We look forward to having our son vaccinated too, so he is protected and can protect others,” she said.
She said that many children don’t really get seriously ill with Covid, but it “doesn’t take into account the children who get sick, end up in intensive care and sadly die”.
“I wonder how much is too much,” she said. “For me it is one.”
South Carolina mother Shirley Grace said she looks forward to “adventuring” her 6-year-old son Michael again once he’s vaccinated. They used to go to weekly markets, museums, the zoo and libraries before the pandemic broke out.
“Although I’ve only limited our trips to places with Covid precautions, better protection for his father and me gives him the peace of mind that we have to go out again,” she said.