Perspectives: Should Covid Vaccine Be Required For Kids?; Tests, Masks And Vaccines All Needed To Stop Pandemic
Opinion writers weigh in on these covid and vaccine topics.
The Washington Post:
Mandatory Vaccination Of Kids Is Not A Great Option. But It’s The Best One We Have.
We knew this moment would come eventually: Pfizer/BioNTech has applied to the Food and Drug Administration for authorization of its vaccine in children 5 to 11 years old. The good news is that many kids will soon be protected against covid-19, along with their families and communities. The bad news is that we’re eventually in for a hell of a fight over whether to mandate those vaccines as a condition of school attendance. (Megan McArdle, 10/8)
COVID Rapid Testing: How To Finally End This Pandemic:
Masks are a final useful barrier against the spread of a highly contagious respiratory virus like SARS-CoV-2, but their effectiveness is limited, especially when there is a lot of virus around. The best way to limit spread with the easily transmitted variants is not masks alone; it is a high rate of vaccination combined with home testing with rapid antigen tests. If you never go out of the house carrying the coronavirus in the first place, you won't be able to spread it, mask or no mask. If you find out you have it early enough, you can avoid spreading it to others. This is a basic principle of public health. (Marc Siegel, 10/9)
Pediatrician: What I Want This Covid Vaccine To Do For My Grandchildren
As a pediatrician and a grandmother, I have followed news of the clinical trials for the Covid-19 vaccines in younger children with great anticipation. My two grandchildren, ages 5 and 8, returned to in-person school this fall and while they wear their masks, I still feel an undercurrent of anxiety as they lack the best protection of all: vaccination. I have practiced pediatrics for 41 years, and know well the power of vaccines in stopping the spread of disease and suffering, both for individual children and for entire families and communities. We've all seen this unfold in real time over the past few months. (Moira Szilagyi, 10/9)
A Prayer For Our Next COVID Era
The two things that patients want—reassurance that they won’t get COVID-19 and permission to engage in life—I cannot deliver, and I never will be able to. SARS-CoV-2 is here to stay. The virus will be woven into our everyday existence much like RSV, influenza, and other common coronaviruses are. The question isn’t whether we’ll be exposed to the novel coronavirus; it’s when. (Lucy McBride, 10/10)
With COVID-19, We Were Too Often Fighting The Wrong Pandemic. But There Are New Grounds For Optimism.
When COVID-19 emerged in the U.S. in late 2019 and early 2020, the public health community responded in a manner similar to how its members did in prior influenza epidemics. Two prior coronavirus outbreaks, SARS and MERS, affected virtually no one in the U.S., and influenza was the best bet for the next major pandemic. That’s what the public health community geared up for. This was an understandable approach. Alas, like Leo Tolstoy’s unhappy families, each pandemic is different in its own way. (Cory Franklin and Robert A Weinstein, 10/11)
Unvaccinated Californians Make Health Care Harder For All
Time is tissue. As surgeons, we live by this fact across a range of diseases and injuries, including heart attack, stroke, diabetes and, in my specialty as a vascular surgeon, limb preservation versus limb loss. The spike in COVID cases across California, dominated by the unvaccinated, is dramatically degrading the precious time health care providers have to treat the widest range of patients. Time is not on our side. (Misty Humphries, 10/9)