The US has been witnessing a drop in new cases of COVID19 and deaths since its highest peak in January due to the higher rate of vaccination among adults in the country. Amid this great news, another concern has popped up in the country. Experts have expressed their concern that though the number of new infections has reduced in the country, there is fear of the virus spreading among people who have not been vaccinated yet. At present, there is no vaccine for children available in the country to protect them from COVID19. They have said that children might become the next target of the virus. Health experts have said that the country is still way far from gaining herd immunity against the disease, despite one-third of people over 18 years has been fully vaccinated, and slightly over half of the adult population in the US has taken at least the first dose of the vaccine. Many experts have said that even if that is possible the COVID19 is going to turn into an endemic that means the virus is going to stay and might become as common as the cold and the flu. The risk of death due to the disease is higher among adults, while kids are at 8700 times lower risk of death due to the virus as compared to adults who are above 85 years old. However, experts have said that COVID 19 can become very deadly in children as well at times. The cases of COVID19 might shoot up among kids in the same way serious cases of the disease are popping up in young adults and middle-aged people. Experts have warned that people have falsely started believing that they can do without following precautions as more people have been vaccinated in the country. However, there is a need to protect our children until an effective vaccine is developed for them.
Health officials have said that the fear of virus spread is increasing with so many households with mixed vaccination status. In some households, kids who are above 16 years have been vaccinated. The drug regulators in the US have already authorized a vaccine that has been made by Pfizer for kids as young as 16. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is going to approve the Pfizer vaccine for children in the range of 12 to 15 years as early as next week. Experts have said that these times are very weird as some people have started leading a normal life after being fully vaccinated and some are still susceptible to the disease due to no vaccination. Though a Pfizer vaccine for kids who are in the age range of 12 to 15 years might be approved soon, a COVID19 vaccine for children below 12 years will not be developed until the end of 2021. Experts expect that the proper clinical trials on a COVID19 vaccine for kids below 12 years will be finished by early 2022. This strategy is known as age-de-escalation. In this strategy, a vaccine is given to healthy adults barring pregnant women, and then it is administered to young or younger kids to see the immune response. It shows whether the vaccine is safe and effective in kids. In the next and final stage, the vaccine is given to infants to see its safety and efficacy.
With the speed and manner vaccines are developed and rolled out, it seems that children will become the primary victim of COVID19 in the future. Health experts have said that the community spread of the virus is the main risk for children who have not been vaccinated. It differs by county, state, and region said the experts. Rural areas have been showing less inclination towards vaccination, however, it is uncertain if it is due to ideological, or an access issue. As per the experts, kids are at a lower risk of contracting COVID19, if there is less virus spread in the communities. They have said that the government should relax COVID guidelines once new cases reduce to one-tenth to one-fifth of the current seven-day average that is around 5000 to 10000 new cases of COVID19 per day. Experts have warned that not everyone will have the same threshold for COVID19 risk.