Corona Virus in New York: Vaccination for young children starts slowly

Status: 06/30/2022 03:25

In the United States, children between the ages of six months and five years can now also be vaccinated against the corona virus. In New York, where half a million young children would be eligible, vaccination is starting slowly.

By Antje Passenheim, ARD Studio New York

No more home for Covid. Not even for the little ones. There isn’t always a spade without tears. But Elle is in a good mood. Laughing and proud, the three-and-a-half-year-old walks into a drugstore on the outskirts of New York, holding her parents’ hands.

Antje Passenheim

They are among the very first to vaccinate their youngest family members in just over a week.

“Is that so?”

The little girl wonders in amazement if it was for that when she exits the vaccination stand of the drugstore – in the metropolis that just over two years ago was the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States. Elle was only one year old then. After the spade, her mother Tracy is relieved.

I would say it was wonderful and disappointingly late. We have waited too long for this day. And now I feel better. Elle was limited. For example, she couldn’t go to kindergarten for a long time because her father had Covid and couldn’t be vaccinated herself.

Now it’s over: About 19 million children between the ages of six months and five years in the United States can benefit from the first dose of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.

Nearly half a million young children can benefit from vaccination

In New York, nearly half a million babies can be freed from many restrictions with this spade, says Mount Sinai Hospital pediatrician Nils Henning.

There are also children who have not been able to wear masks, these are the children who have not been able to go to birthday parties. They are children who have not seen their grandparents for a long time.

So far, however, the real great wave of vaccinations, as in the case of adults, has not materialized. While about 60 percent of young people between 5 and 17 in New York City are fully vaccinated, it will take longer for the little ones. In a Kaiser Family Foundation survey, only one in five parents said they would like to vaccinate their child immediately. It belongs to the most cautious mothers Katherine McHugh:

I am definitely pro-vaccination and my kids have been vaccinated against everything since they were little. But I am skeptical of Covid vaccination for them. There are no mature data. We don’t know what effect it will have on this little body in a few years.

Experts: Parents underestimate the dangers of infection

However, parents may also be wondering what consequences a Covid infection can have for their little ones, says pediatrician Henning. Many mothers and fathers have underestimated the dangers.

Here in the United States, Covid is one of the top ten causes of death among children. But many parents aren’t aware of this at first.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 400 children under the age of four in the United States had not survived corona disease by the end of May. Vaccination not only reduces the risk of serious illness for young children, my pediatrician Henning:

The more people, including children, are vaccinated, the more they protect their friends, family and community. And what’s also important: the higher the vaccination rate, the less likely the coronavirus is to mutate into other variants.

In the end, there are no unvaccinated members in her family, says Tracey, Elle’s mother, as they leave the pharmacy. Now the youngest would be part of society again, just like everyone else.

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