Should Kids Under Age 5 Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Headline Roundup June 17th, 2022

COVID-19 vaccines for U.S. kids under age 5 could be available as soon as next week.

The Food and Drug Administration authorized the first COVID-19 shots for that group Friday, and the final sign-off from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisers and Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky is expected soon. The FDA decision follows its advisory panel’s endorsement of the shots from Moderna and Pfizer. Roughly 18 million kids will become eligible for the shots.

Florida is the only state to not pre-request those vaccines. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the "risks outweigh the benefits and we are recommending against," but that "people can access" the vaccine for kids "if they want to" through personal physicians. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey suggests that 18% of parents with children under 5 are eager to get their child vaccinated, compared to 27% who said they will "definitely not" get their child vaccinated.

Voices from the center and right emphasized parents' freedom of choice more than voices from the left. The left and center focused more on data that supports the shots than the right, who focused more on the potential risks and vaccine side effects for young people. Many sources across the spectrum highlighted the approval and coming CDC decision, as well as Florida's opposition. Left-rated sources usually highlighted critics who said Florida's decision could delay vaccine availability. Right-rated sources usually focused on comments from DeSantis and others about the reasons for their opposition.

From the Center
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OPINION

On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration authorized Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna’s coronavirus vaccines for children as young as 6 months. Shots should be available next week, which will provide some parents a long overdue tool to protect their children from covid.

It also will likely go unused by most American parents. This latter group, which will likely not seek out a coronavirus vaccine for their young children, deserves closer attention, not least of all because their hesitancy represents a change in how parents make health care decisions for their children. Rather than...

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From the Left
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OPINION

The rapid development of approaches to combating Covid-19 has changed how the pandemic affects our lives. While there are now a number of safe and effective layers of protection for adults to reduce their risk of the worst impacts of Covid-19, young children remain relatively unshielded.

Although children have been at a lower risk of severe Covid-19 compared with older adults, the past six months have been the most perilous time of the pandemic for them — especially very young children. Children under 5 are the only age group in...

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From the Right
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ANALYSIS

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, also a retired neurosurgeon, Thursday on Newsmax urged "common sense" when considering COVID-19 vaccinations for children under the age of 5, after advisers for the Food and Drug Administration recommended the shots be approved.

"There are some people who are very concerned and they want the vaccine, and I'm glad that it would be available for them," Carson said on Newsmax's "National Report." "The problem I have is, trying to create an environment where you push people into having to have the vaccine."

Instead,...

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