Twenty-eight million American children ages 5 to 11 are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. Within hours of the emergency use authorization, vaccine distribution mechanisms kicked into high gear, allowing for kids to roll up their sleeves without having to go too far.
Vaccines are now being distributed in pediatrician offices, pharmacies, and schools, as a strategy to eliminate any logistical barriers that kids may face in getting vaccinated. But many parents, who are the key decision makers, remain skeptical that kids need the shot. After all, COVID cases among children have been more mild, with fewer hospitalizations and deaths compared with adults.
An October poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 30% of parents of kids in this newly authorized age group will "definitely not" vaccinate them. So what does this mean for classrooms and masking? And what does the science say when it comes to the need to vaccinate kids?
On this week's episode, Paul Offit, MD, the director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and a member of the FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, joins us to discuss how vaccinating kids may be the key to returning to a "new normal."