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Do Children Need a COVID Vaccine at School?

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COVID-19 vaccination for 5-11 years old Finally go.. But even when the emergency authorization process was deployed, there was also a debate about whether children should be forced to be shot (or soon). School obligations for new vaccines Behind the CDC recommendations By about half a year, but the COVID-19 shot appears to be in the express lane. NS Los Angeles Unified School DistrictThe second largest student in the country must be vaccinated by mid-December if they wish to continue attending face-to-face classes.California as a whole Mandatory shots for all public and private school students Vaccine fully approved, New York City Mayor-elect same idea.

Given the expected delays before the FDA gives full approval, the implementation of school obligations from kindergarten to high school across the state may still be delayed for some time. Shots for kids— For reference, the same process of adult vaccine took 8 months. Meanwhile, parents, pediatricians, and public health authorities are left to ponder the pros and cons. COVID-19 may be an unprecedented illness Matching unprecedented vaccination efforts.. But to be precise, how do schools require COVID vaccines compared to cases of polio, chickenpox, measles, and all other shot requirements already in place nationwide?

When state regulators decide whether to require a particular vaccine, they generally consider the risks and benefits that the FDA and CDC do when deciding whether to turn a vaccine into a green light. However, we also consider how those risks and benefits relate to the school environment. Mary Anne Jackson, an infectious disease pediatrician at the University of Missouri, Kansas City Children’s Mercy Hospital, says. In addition to being safe and effective, vaccines need to be easy to distribute and widely accepted by the medical community and the general public. Under these conditions, school vaccination obligations can provide a “safety net for vaccine policy,” says Jason Schwartz, a vaccine policy expert at the Yale School of Public Health. They help increase the immunization rate when other methods of persuasion fail.

As far as parents are concerned, the most important benefit of compulsory COVID vaccination is the potential to prevent death. COVID-19 has so far caused relatively few deaths in children aged 5 to 11 years —66 From October 2020 to October 2021. However, we regularly vaccinate school children for less fatal illnesses before each vaccine becomes available. For example, chickenpox killed an average of 16 children aged 5-9 years in the early 1990s. Currently in all 50 states (and District of Columbia) Mandatory vaccination for elementary school students On the other hand. Chickenpox told me that it was used to kill “a particular subset of children,” primarily immunocompromised children. The same is true for today’s COVID-19.

In addition to preventing death, COVID vaccines for children also promise to prevent and alleviate the disease. The long-term effects of the disease remain unknown in both children and adults alike.According to data provided by Pfizer to the CDC, the dose for small children of the company is 90.9% valid To prevent symptomatic infections. (However, keep in mind that the effectiveness of the vaccine can change over time, as in adults.) This level of protection is mandatory for elementary school students in all 50 states. It is comparable to the level provided by the vaccine. Polio (99%), measles (97%), chicken pox (94 percent), and Whooping cough (84 percent).

It is also important to consider the possibility of your child getting sick in the first place.Delta variants appear to be less contagious among children Chickenpox, measles, When Whooping cough, And almost as contagious Polio..But how fast Delta variant spreads to school children How quickly will it be done, especially if precautions such as masks and social distance are removed from school?

To summarize the benefits, child-sized COVID vaccines fight illnesses that are almost as dangerous as other vaccines that schools require regular vaccination. At least for now, it seems to be about as effective as these other vaccines, but the diseases it prevents appear to be slightly less contagious.

Now, about risk. Myocarditis is a major concern for Pfizer’s children’s vaccines. Myocarditis causes the heart muscle to become inflamed, causing symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath in children.Myocarditis not due to vaccine Tends to be rare in young children Pfizer’s Little Children Trial, Than Teens and Young Adults The recorded case did not occur Among about 3,000 vaccinated people.However, myocarditis has been roughly observed between older boys and younger men who received a second dose of the mRNA vaccine. 1 in 10,000..

How does this rate compare to the rate of the most annoying side effects of school-mandated vaccines? COVID vaccine-induced myocarditis occurs less frequently Febrile seizure Measles, mumps, rubella vaccine (about once in 2,500 times), but more often than bruising Immune thrombocytopenic purpura (1 in 30,000).Cases of myocarditis are also more common than cases of Anaphylaxis After the hepatitis B vaccine (1 in 1.1 million) required for elementary school students in all but a handful of states.

However, the rate of myocarditis induced by the COVID vaccine does not tell much by itself. “The question is how serious myocarditis is,” says Daniel Salmon, who heads the Johns Hopkins Vaccine Safety Institute. I’m still not sure. According to the CDC Most patients with post-vaccination myocarditis “I feel better soon”, “After my symptoms improve, I can usually return to my normal daily routine.” However, vaccination-induced myocarditis attacks are now one, ten, or fifty years old. I can’t tell anyone yet if it will hurt someone’s health. Salmon told me he wouldn’t support the child’s obligations until researchers were able to track the child closely. People who have had myocarditis for a year or two and have not found any serious health problems associated with it.

Waiting for a year or two also gives regulators the opportunity to learn how Americans learn to live SARS-CoV-2 as an endemic virus. Rainey Ross, a pediatrician and bioethicist at the University of Chicago, now says, “What makes this disease unique is that” everyone is a kind of virgin “against the virus that causes it. I told me. COVID-19 may begin to resemble measles or chickenpox if it does not continue to transform into new, more dangerous variants and the vaccine (or innate immunity left by previous infections) maintains protection against it. There is: Childhood illness because it has already been exposed to all living adults. This makes the case of childhood duty much easier.

However, as some experts (and the CEO of a pharmaceutical company) predicted, when the virus changed drastically and it was necessary to take new shots once or twice a year, the obligation to school children suddenly arose. increase. Many More complicated. Most schools track regular vaccinations at specific entry points, such as enrollment in kindergartens and junior high schools, says Seema Mohapatra, a visiting law professor at Southern Methodist University, who puts into practice a system for that. I am.

“That’s a completely different story,” she told me if the COVID vaccine would be an annual injection. She said the paperwork would be a nightmare.

Consider the flu vaccine. 112 children aged 5 to 17 during the 2019-20 season Died of influenzaStill, no state requires students from kindergarten to high school to be vaccinated against the flu each year. (Massachusetts announced delegation in August 2020, after which Dropped In January after the flu season turned out to be mild. In contrast, an average of three children and teens die from hepatitis A annually. 2 doses-and-that-that’s A vaccine for the disease has been approved.Still, hepatitis A vaccine Required in elementary school In one-third of the state. Sure, hepatitis A vaccines are far more effective than annual flu shots, but flu definitely poses a much more formidable risk to children.

The miraculous speed with which the COVID vaccine was developed only makes it difficult to answer these questions. By the time Pfizer’s first emergency use authorization for adult shots was issued last year, humanity had only about 13 months of experience with the new coronavirus. The first American polio epidemic occurred decades before Jonas Salk began researching his famous vaccine. Measles existed for centuries before effective inoculation was discovered. If we had spent such time with COVID-19 before the vaccine was introduced, perhaps more children would get sick or die of the disease, but how quickly the virus would spread over time. I also know better about whether it mutates. The exact extent to which the child spreads and infects it, and the rate at which it causes chronic symptoms.

Similarly, fragments of information that can be collected within the next few months will help in deciding whether to require a child to be vaccinated. The approaches adopted by the mayor, governor, and regulators so far suggest that they will wait until the FDA gives full approval of the shot. By then, we need to go a little further.

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