Delays In Adolescents Receiving Their Covid-19 Vaccinations Could Hinder US Recovery

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, an expert epidemiologist, recently spoke to the press about how some US populations are seeing an amazing increase in vaccination rates, while other groups in the nation are experiencing lags in their distribution, especially among adolescents, which could lead to a major delay in the country’s recovery as a whole. 

Children currently account for 25% of all Covid-19 cases in America due to the fact that they’re not yet vaccinated. 

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“As we’ve gotten more and more of our seniors vaccinated, more and more people with pre-existing conditions, more and more people who may be healthy and younger, the question becomes how do we protect our children?”

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently performed a study in which they examined more than 200 adolescents aged from 12 to 17-years-old who were hospitalized within the first three months of 2021, likely with Covid-19. The report showed that while there were no deaths, a third of the adolescents were admitted to intensive care units because of their illness, and 5% required mechanical ventilation. 

“Every single one of those hospitalizations, every single one of those kids in the ICU, can now be prevented now that vaccinations are available to those 12 to 17. As certain states lag behind the national average vaccination rate, however, it could spell trouble for the youngest and most vulnerable populations. What we also see is that the same places where adults are lagging, teens are lagging,” emergency physician Dr. Anand Swaminathan said to CNN. 

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About 13 states have hit President Joe Biden’s goal of getting 70% of all US adults vaccinated with at least one Covid-19 vaccine by July 4th. However, experts like Leana Wen claim that the parts of the nation with lower vaccination rates are expected to experience another wave of coronavirus infections among its unvaccinated residents. 

“Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Wyoming, Tennessee and West Virginia have the lowest vaccination rates – with less than 50% of adults having received at least one dose. Vermont, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine and New Jersey boast the highest, with 75% or more of their adult population partially vaccinated. One issue for where vaccinations are lagging is lack of access and messaging in certain communities,” Dr. Swaminathan explained.

“There are people who don’t understand the fact that this is free. That messaging hasn’t been done as much as it should be.There are barriers for people who can’t get paid time off of work or have issues finding childcare that prevent them from getting the vaccine.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told CNN that he’s optimistic children younger than 12 could receive their vaccinations by Thanksgiving this year. 

“We are now doing studies that are ongoing, studies that are looking at what we call age de-escalation, children from 12 to 9 and ten 9 to 6 and then 6 to 2 and then 6 months to 2 years. We hope that as we approach the end of the calendar year we’ll have enough information to vaccinate children of any age.” 

Scientist Holding Moderna Vaccine

Moderna Says Their Covid-19 Vaccine Is Safe For Adolescents 

Moderna announced this Tuesday that their Covid-19 vaccine is safe and effective in adolescents. The company is basing the announcement after completing phase 2 of 3 of a trial of 3,732 children aged from 12 to 17 in the US. 

Blood tests showed that the vaccine produces an immune response that was equivalent to the findings in adults. 

The trial wasn’t designed to look at efficacy, but more so how safe it was for younger teens and adolescents to take it. Initial observations did show that none of the children who received the vaccine got sick with Covid-19 starting 14 days after their second dose. 

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“Four of the children who received the placebo tested positive for Covid-19, which is consistent with a vaccine efficacy of 100%, that figure could also change as more data is collected.”

The results also showed that the vaccine was 93% effective after one dose at preventing mild cases of Covid-19; meaning only one or two symptoms would appear in anyone who tests positive after being vaccinated. 

The company said “the vaccine was generally well tolerated and no significant safety concerns were identified. Side effects included headache, fatigue, muscle pain and chills after administration of the second dose. Pain at the injection site was also sometimes observed.”

Moderna is planning on submitting the results to the US Food and Drug Administration in early June along with a request for authorization to use the vaccine in adolescents. The data will also be submitted to a peer-reviewed publication, as every other vaccine has in America. 

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The Moderna vaccine was already authorized in the US for individuals 18 and older, and after Moderna requests an emergency use authorization from the FDA it’s likely that it will be approved for all Americans aged 12 and up. 

The FDA has already approved of the Pfizer vaccine to be given to adolescents aged between 12 and 15, previously it was only available for those 16 and older. The fact that both of these vaccines have already been used frequently in adults all across America, experts claim it makes sense that they’re both also effective in younger individuals. 

According to reports from CNN, “both Pfizer and Moderna are currently testing their vaccines in younger children, ages 6 months to 11 years. Because those age groups may require varying doses, the process will likely take a little longer.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases recently claimed that elementary aged children likely won’t be vaccinated until the end of the year, however, he’s confident that every American, regardless of age, will be eligible by 2022.