CDC Recommends Pfizer Vaccine for 5-11 Year Olds, Allowing all K-12 Students Chance Of Vaccination

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STAFF WRITER Sameeksha Panda

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for 5-11 year olds in the United States on Nov. 2, expanding the population range available to get the shot to anyone over 5. This development came soon after their authorization to start booster shots for part of the US population.

With the COVID-19 pandemic reaching almost two years, this recommendation comes at a time when there had been over 46 million COVID-19 cases and 750 thousand deaths in the U.S. And with the Delta variant, currently the most transmissible COVID-19 variant present in the U.S., hospitalizations and deaths have increased for children and teenagers, long regarded as generally immune to the severe side effects of COVID-19.

The approval of this vaccine, which makes over 28 million children in the nation eligible for the shot, came soon after the 12-15 year old Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination recommendation in early May of this year, causing most kids in grades K-12 to have the opportunity to become vaccinated and gain some sort of semblance in their lives.

At MHS, while vaccinations are not required to stay in school, many in the community seem to support COVID-19 protocols, from social distancing to protective dividers in school. The school board voted 8-1 to mandate masks indoors for the 2021-2022 school year. 

Some students at MHS, such as Matt Tang, president of the MHS Medicine & Science Club, are in favor of his population being vaccinated. “With each person who gets the COVID vaccine, the closer we move towards a normal life again,” he said.

Underclassman Nanditha Patil also believes that “everyone should be vaccinated, and there are significant studies that show that the vaccination is safe. Teenagers especially should be vaccinated with the amount of time we are all at school close together. If everyone at our school was vaccinated, all the extra precautions we are currently taking would be unnecessary.”

Approximately 58.2 percent of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated. Having a majority of children and teenagers vaccinated would aid in bringing this total closer to 80 percent, regarded as the point where herd immunity is reached, and where one of the only possibilities to end the pandemic lies.