fbpx
Ethiopia: Loan from United Nations Fund Allows Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to Scale Up Fertilizers for Farmers in TigrayRead more How Choosing the Right Printer Helps Small Businesses and Content Creators to Save Time, Maximise Productivity and Achieve GrowthRead more The United States Contributes USD $223 Million to Help World Food Programme (WFP) Save Lives and Stave Off Severe Hunger in South SudanRead more Eritrea: World Breastfeeding WeekRead more Eritrean community festival in Scandinavian countriesRead more IOM: Uptick in Migrants Heading Home as World Rebounds from COVID-19Read more Network International & Infobip to offer WhatsApp for Business Banking Services to Financial Institution Clients across AfricaRead more Ambassador Jacobson Visits Gondar in the Amhara Region to Show Continued U.S. Support for the Humanitarian and Development Needs of EthiopiansRead more Voluntary Repatriation of Refugees from Angola to DR Congo ResumesRead more Senegal and Mauritania Are Rich in Resources, Poor in Infrastructure, Now Is the Time to Change That Read more

Vaccinate young kids or no? US parents wrestle with the decision

show caption
Florida resident Daniela Boettcher, pictured with her daughter Lia in Miami on October 29, 2021, is firmly pro-vaccine./AFP
Print Friendly and PDF

Nov 03, 2021 - 09:07 AM

MIAMI — US parents are debating vaccinating their children against Covid-19 after the recent authorization of a shot for young kids paved the way for more immunizations in the country where vaccine hesitancy remains widespread.

The authorization last Friday by the US Food and Drug Administration of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for kids aged five to 11 paves the way for the innoculation of 28 million children in the United States.

The rollout could begin as early as this week, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expected to give the green light after a panel convenes Tuesday to further discuss clinical recommendations.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus in the United States there have been 8,300 Covid-19 hospitalizations of children aged five to 11, according to the CDC.

Those figures are comparatively low to the total 45.8 million cases and more than 745,000 deaths in the hard-hit country and severe Covid-19 is rarer in children than adults, although far from non-existent.

The United States is emerging from its latest coronavirus wave and almost 58 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, but hesitancy to get a shot remains high in some areas.

With the new authorization, the spotlight is now on parents of young children as they weigh the decision whether or not to vaccinate their kids.

The believer 

Daniela Boettcher, 45, is firmly pro-vaccine, so much so that she didn’t wait for authorization of the Pfizer shot for young kids before getting her five-year-old daughter Lia in line for vaccination.

Last Friday, her daughter was due to receive a dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine as part of a trial. But the US firm pushed the date back by a week.

For Boettcher, the decision was easy.

“I totally believe in the vaccine,” she told AFP.

“I read all the articles where they say that the benefits outweigh the possible other effects.”

Two things pushed her to get Lia vaccinated as soon as possible: worries her daughter would contract the virus and suffer potentially serious long-term effects, and a wish to ease travel to and from Germany, her country of origin, which she visits several times a year.

Undecided 

Cristina Hernandez Winker and David Winker still don’t know if their eight-year-old daughter should be vaccinated.

Despite FDA approval of the Pfizer shot, they have lingering doubts over possible side effects for their daughter, named Cristina after her mother.

“We didn’t think twice about getting the vaccine, but… this is bit different,” David Winker said.

“We are in our early 50s, we’re living another 20 years. She’s eight years old, she’s living another 70 years, what are the long term effects?”

The elder Cristina shares his doubts.

“My daughter was born premature, so I am concerned about how it would affect her immune system,” she said.

The couple hasn’t ruled out getting the shot for their daughter, but are waiting to consult with their paediatrician before making a decision.

The sceptic 

Sucelys Alvarez, on the other hand, knows for sure she won’t vaccinate her six-year-old son, a student at Centner Academy, a private school in Miami that gained national attention for its anti-vaccine stance.

Earlier this year, it effectively banned vaccinated teachers from classrooms and wrote to parents citing concerns based on debunked misinformation that fertility issues could be caused by “being in close proximity” with vaccinated people.

“I don’t know what is in those vaccines,” said Alvarez, who also has a two-year-old.

“I do believe that kids need immunity and nutrition and I think that with that it would be just more than enough.”

For the 29-year-old mom, the vaccine is “just chemicals with God knows what.”

“I don’t think that any parent should put that in their kids’ bodies.”

  • bio
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • latest posts

MAORANDCITIES.COM uses both Facebook and Disqus comment systems to make it easier for you to contribute. We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. All comments should be relevant to the topic. By posting, you agree to our Privacy Policy. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, name-calling, foul language or other inappropriate behavior. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected – when using Facebook comment system – your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the Facebook comment box to report spam or abuse. You can also email us.