The poem “No Man Is an Island” was written centuries ago, but it rings true today, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. For the U.S. to beat back this virus, John Donne’s reminder that community is vital to survival should be regarded.
Every eligible American must do their part and be vaccinated; if not for themselves, they need to do it for their neighbors who are too young for the shot or those who are immunocompromised, according to numerous reports from medical personnel between July 17-28, 2021. Moreover, everyone should wear a mask in public as an extra level of precaution.
Children Under 12 Cannot Be Vaccinated Against COVID-19
Vaccines are not yet approved for children under 12. As a result, they are 100 percent dependant on their neighbors to help keep them safe from the virus. In addition, the recent surge of infections includes young children — approximately 10 percent of kids who test positive for COVID require hospitalization, and about one-third of them may require extreme medical measures to keep them alive.
Texas Children’s Hospital Pathologist-in-Chief and Interim Pediatrician-in-Chief Jim Veralovic explained some of those kids required ventilators:
We have seen severe cases of COVID pneumonia and acute respiratory distress in children. And we certainly have used ventilators when appropriate, selectively.
Immune-Weakening Medication May Lessen COVID Vaccine’s Efficacy
Another group who depend on their neighbors being vaccinated suffers from autoimmune conditions or requires immune-weakening medication. Up to seven percent or roughly 23.5 million Americans suffer from an autoimmune disease — and the predominance is rising, according to a 2017 report by the National Institutes of Health.
On July 26, CNN spoke with Kimberly Cooley, whose medical condition requires immune-suppressing medication. She is fully vaccinated but, because of the medication she takes, her body did not produce the needed antibodies to prevent COVID-19.
Not only is Cooley worried about the low vaccination rate affecting her, but she has two 6-year-old nephews she cannot hug. When asked about how she feels about the situation in the United States, she answered:
It’s pure selfishness. That’s what it is — it’s pure selfishness when you won’t do your part in the midst of a global health crisis.
Johns Hopkins researchers report indicating that vaccinated immunocompromised like Cooley are 485 times more likely to end up in the hospital or die from COVID-19 than healthy vaccinated individuals.
Moreover, since children under 12 cannot be vaccinated and folks like Cooley whose vaccine did not help, the rest of America needs to be vaccinated to protect them — and wear masks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that it will take 70-90 percent of eligible Americans to be vaccinated to help ensure kids’ safety and immune-compromised individuals.
The adage “it takes a community to raise a child” applies to vaccinations and other COVID-19 precautions to keep those too young and medically challenged individuals COVID-19 infection-free.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
CNN: She can’t hug her nephews because millions of Americans refuse to get the Covid-19 vaccine; by Elizabeth Cohen
The Hill: Texas doctor warns COVID-19 cases are rising among children; by Anagha Srikanth
Science Daily: Nearly 3 percent of Americans take immune-weakening drugs that may limit COVID vaccine response. Many are taking steroids that could increase risk of COVID-related hospitalization, researchers say; Michigan Medicine – University of Michigan
Genetech: Autoimmune Disease 101
Images Courtesy of Phil Roeder’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License