Perspectives: The COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids

Headline Roundup October 25th, 2021

As COVID-19 vaccines for nearly 28 million U.S. children near federal approval, parents remain divided on whether to give kids the shot. 

White House coronavirus advisor Anthony Fauci said over the weekend that kids under 12 could begin getting COVID-19 shots "within the first week or two of November." The White House unveiled its plan to encourage vaccines for kids last week, and Moderna and Pfizer both say their vaccines are safe for kids age 6 to 11. On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration shared a study saying the benefits of Pfizer's vaccine for kids "would clearly outweigh" the risks. With Halloween this Sunday, CDC director Rochelle Walensky said that kids should "Put on those costumes, stay outside and enjoy your trick-or-treating" but advised against gathering "in large settings outside."

Health professionals and others offered differing opinions about vaccinating children. Some doctors writing in left-rated outlets advocated for mandating COVID-19 vaccines for children in schools, citing the risk unvaccinated kids could pose to others even if they themselves don't get sick. Some doctors writing in right-rated outlets criticized mandates for kids, citing the very low rates of hospitalization and death for kids who contract COVID-19. Other opinions focused on how to discuss vaccines with children who may not fully understand the situation, or argued that being hesitant to vaccinate kids against COVID-19 at this point doesn't make parents anti-vaxxers.

From the Left
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OPINION

Schools are back in session. Kids are back in classrooms. And the highly contagious delta variant is along for the ride, causing COVID-19 cases among children to rise.

On Sept. 9, the Los Angeles board of education voted to mandate coronavirus vaccines for in-person students ages 12 and up in America's second-largest school district. The move has been met with praise and criticism.

As part of Two Takes, a series examining opinions about key issues, U.S. News checked in with Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center and an attending physician...

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From the Right
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OPINION

Parents should have the option to vaccinate their children when a vaccine becomes available. This is especially true for parents of kids with pre-existing medical conditions, including obesity. 

As highlighted in a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a real-world analysis of COVID-19 hospitalizations among adolescents aged 12–18 years showed 72 percent of those hospitalized had at least one underlying pre-existing medical condition. Of the hospitalized, 97 percent were unvaccinated, highlighting the importance of vaccinating high-risk adolescents.

Late Friday evening, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published the...

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From the Center
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OPINION

As grandparents we wonder whether to recommend that our grandchildren, ages 2 to 7, get COVID-19 vaccinations. Vaccines for children 5 to 11 will soon be available under Emergency Use Authorization, and a vaccine will probably be ready the next few months for those younger.

We are not alone in questioning whether our grandkids should get the shots. A Kaiser Family Foundation survey in August showed that roughly one-quarter of parents of children aged 5 to 11 would vaccinate their children “right away,” 40% said they would “wait and see” how the vaccine worked...

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