The Covid Cases in the U.S. are gradually dwindling. And now the cases have reduced to 40% than what it was a month back. This is certainly encouraging news.
And the fight against the deadly virus went up a notch as on Monday when the FDA or the Food and Drug Administration gave the green light to the Pfizer-BioTech COVID vaccine for adolescents from 12-15 years old.
All About Herd Immunity
However, the race for herd immunity is still a distant dream! Some states want the federal government to stop the huge influx of vaccines this week as the demand for vaccinations has been plummeting recently.
There have also been concerns over the reducing interest in vaccination. It has prompted the higher officials to conduct a meeting on Tuesday with six governors to drive another impetus.
An Emergency Authorization for Vaccine
The American Government has been aiming for 70% of the nation’s adults to get vaccinated or get one dose by Independence Day. At least 58% of U.S. adults, and 46% of the population, has got the first jab. And almost 35% of the country has been fully vaccinated.
According to the Center for Diseases Control and Prevention data, the pace of vaccinations has fallen to 60% this month.
The FDA has granted an emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to individuals in their teens, 16 or older. Once the vaccination drive includes the younger lot, it will reduce the effect of the pandemic on public health.
More and More Children Getting Affected by the Virus
The FDA said that at least 1.5 million Covid-19 cases affect individuals between 11 to 17 years old, as reported to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The impact of the disease is generally milder in younger children, but they may pass it on to older individuals.
Pfizer and its partner BioNTech have been asserting that their two-dose vaccine protocol has been safe and highly effective in a trial for the age-group 12 to 15-year-olds.
A Significant Step Towards Covid-19 Pandemic
FDA has also been approving the COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson for emergency use authorizations from the FDA. But they are only for individuals over the age of 18.
Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock has hailed this as a significant move. And this spreads hope that we are moving towards a life beyond the pandemic.
She also reassured hassled parents by saying that the agency has been undertaking rigorous tests. They are also reviewing all the available data on Covid-19 vaccine emergencies from around the world.
The Safe and Effective Vaccine Option for Children
The vaccine has been available as an emergency use authorization (EUA) to people as young as 16 in the United States. The vaccine makers have started the process for full approval for this age group last week.
Since Pfizer’s vaccine is the only one authorized for older children, 16 and 17-year-olds in the United States. According to CDC data, nearly 2 million people belonging to that age group have received the first shot. The prospect of the vaccinations opening for that age group can turn out to be music to the ears of the children and their parents.
A Glimmer of Hope for a Pandemic-Free World
The children have been home-bound far too long, and the systematic vaccination process can give them hope that a day at the school may not be that far off. A large-scale vaccination process of 12- to 18-year olds can allow US schools to resume life as they were before the pandemic. And they can resume school without the masks and social distancing protocols.
With gradual relaxation of the rules and regulations, children can slowly go back to their old normal. Pfizer has said after vaccinating this age group. They are ready to get the safety and efficacy data for the vulnerable age group, children ages 2-to-11, in September. The company spokesperson went on to say that they will ask for further expansion of the EUA for that age group.
We are looking with hopeful eyes at countries like Israel, which has successfully beaten Covid with its extensive vaccination drive. If they can do it, the other countries can seek inspiration and follow in their wake. And at a time like now, vaccination seems like the only respite available to beat the pandemic.