The US on Thursday took a huge step in the fight against Covid-19 by kicking off world’s first mass vaccination drive for 12-15 year olds. Till now, US and other countries around the world, including India, were and have been inoculating everyone above the age of 18. The move to inoculate teenagers came after CDC and federal government’s approval to Pfizer-BioTech vaccine.
‘The vaccine is safe, effective, easy, fast and free’, said Joe Biden, while hailing the move to vaccinate the younger population. He further emphasised that as many as 20K pharmacies are ready to start giving the shots and this is one more giant step in their fight against the pandemic.
Reports coming in from US suggest that some states such as Georgia have already started vaccinating children. Meanwhile, others are readying to start the vaccination drive. One of the primary challenges that has been observed is vaccine hesitancy. Several parents in the US are waiting it out to book a slot as they view it as experimental. Others are still deciding by weighing in a number of factors. There is also a section of people, including children, who want to get the doses as soon as possible so that life can return to normalcy.
The decision to roll out the vaccination drive for children is the need of the hour and should be considered by other countries as well. Children are exposed to the virus as much as adults. While some can grow seriously sick, others can unknowingly spread the virus to vulnerable groups. Even in India, children have been testing positive for Covid-19. Hence, it only seems logical to extend the vaccination drive to all sections of the society, including children.