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Whether a person is 12 or 102, receiving a COVID-19 vaccination should be on everyone’s priority to-do list, as in, it needs to be done today. A primary reason to be vaccinated is because of the COVID-19 variants.
The Delta variant is particularly a matter of concern. Everyone needs to be vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19 to slow the spread of Delta and other currently unidentified variants.
Based on the devastation Delta caused in India, health experts in the United States are concerned it will soon be the dominant COVID-19 strain as it is spreading quickly in unvaccinated and under-vaccinated communities.
There is good news. People who have had both doses of Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are not likely to get sick with Delta. However, for those who have had the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, less is known about its effectiveness against the COVID-19 variants.
[Update] On July 2, Johnson & Johnson released a report indicating the vaccine works well against the delta variant. Further boosting their assertion, they announced the immune response lasts at least eight months, according to lab data.
Children Under 12 Must Be Protected From COVID-19 and Variants
Millions of children — ages 11 and under — are at great risk of contracting the Delta variant. They must be protected by every person they come in contact with. Experts are concerned about how the new variants, especially Delta, will affect these little ones.
While infection remains low with the initial strain of COVID-19 among younger people, there is still a risk. How great a risk is unknown. But, there are simple ways to protect children:
- Make sure they are not around others who are not completely vaccinated.
- Insist they continue to wear masks when away from home.
- Find playgroups for socialization where all those 12 and older are vaccinated.
- Create a social network of fully vaccinated individuals.
New moms can help their infants by becoming vaccinated and sharing the COVID-19 antibodies even while breastfeeding.
Vaccination Appointments Easier to Obtain
When the coronavirus shots were first made available, people were forced to wait to be vaccinated, and that was after spending hours, if not days, trying to get an appointment.
Now, most places do not require appointments, even if they recommend them.
Finding a location is simple: call 211 for local COVID-19 vaccination sites or check with neighborhood community centers, churches, and schools to see if they are holding a vaccination event.
One barrier to obtaining COVID-19 vaccinations is transportation. Consider gathering a few friends, family, or neighbors to carpool.
COVID-19 Vaccination Offers Freedom
Freedom is an excellent reason for all eligible Americans to be vaccinated. When the entire country is vaccinated, people can travel free from concern. Additionally, children can safely attend daycare, preschool, K-12, and beyond without the stress associated with the unknown. Moreover, masks can be placed in the rubbish bin.
Opinion by Cathy Milne-Ware
Edited by DiMarkco Chandler
CNN: What parents need to know about children and the Delta variant; by Virginia Langmaid
Scientific American: How Dangerous Is the Delta Variant, and Will It Cause a COVID Surge in the U.S.? By Tayna Lewis
CDC: Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine
NBC: Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine works well against delta variant; by Jane Weaver
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Phil Murphy’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Gilbert Mercier’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License