More and more adults around the world are getting vaccinated against COVID-19, which is a big leap of progress towards achieving the ultimate goal of herd immunity. As of writing, 3.06 billion people worldwide have been vaccinated, which accounts for about 39.2% of the global population.
While adults are slowly progressing towards being immune from the virus, kids have been waiting for their turn. Vaccine brands have been undergoing clinical trials to prove that their shots are safe for children below 12 years old. And as of October 27, it’s safe to say that the wait is coming to an end.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for children ages five to 11 years of age. This is following a thorough review of the brand’s clinal trial results, which showed that a low-dose version of the vaccine is safe for younger children. Approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is still required to begin inoculation. But assuming they give the thumbs up, vaccination efforts for younger children are set to begin before 2021 ends.
How Vaccinating Children Will Change the Course of the Pandemic
In the U.S., there are over 28 million children that are five to 11 years of age, making them the largest group of people in the nation. With a COVID-19 vaccine now being available to them, the U.S. is several steps closer to fighting the pandemic and moving on from COVID-19 once and for all.
Children ages five to 11 have been returning to physical classes unvaccinated and coupled with the more transmissible delta variant, we saw a spike in new COVID-19 cases among children and educational frontliners. According to experts in infectious diseases, the vaccine inoculation for children ages five to 11 will save lives not only in that age group but also curb adult infections.
The U.S. is hoping to vaccinate five to 11-year-olds in November, which is projected to lower the toll of COVID-19 and overall reduce the number of new weekly cases, hospitalizations, and deaths moving forward. Scientists and infectious disease researchers have coined this positive scenario as the “Kid Effect.”
A Brighter Outlook on the Pandemic’s Future
Looking at it from a bird’s eye view, there have been several progressions that are moving us closer to a COVID-free world. From cases in the U.S. declining and therefore opening its doors to international travelers, vaccination rates steadily rising, countries pioneering efforts to live with COVID-19, studies underway to understand and replicate super immunity, and now the inoculation of younger children within the year, we’re on the right path to changing the course of the pandemic and putting this global crisis behind us.