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The Center for Disease Control officially approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be produced for and distributed to children aged 5-11 on Nov. 2. The change has been a long time in the making after the CDC officially approved children aged 12 and older to receive the vaccine back in May. The leading cause for the change focused on recent rounds of testing that have proved the vaccine to be very functional on children, giving them a roughly 91% chance to receive the vaccine effectively.
The move to allow vaccination for kids around the United States was put in place immediately, meaning that pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, and much more will soon be viable options for the youth. Additionally, instead of the doses being the standard 30 micrograms given to young teens and adults, children will receive a much smaller one with only ten micrograms present. This change was made to decrease the number of side effects that could be present with even a slight overdose of the robust vaccine.
This adjustment should be beneficial for schools across the country, as a change like this is expected to remove several restrictions as the vaccine slowly becomes available for every age group in the nation. Likely shifts in the future could include limited mask requirements, less plexiglass, and more relaxed overall restrictions regarding COVID safety. Still, at this point in time, SPA has not decided to make any formal statements. Jill Romans, Assistant Head of School, said, “It is still premature to understand how this approval will impact the vaccination status of our full student community. There are many factors to consider in our decision-making process, and we will continue to assess the situation in an ongoing manner.” While this does not bring immediate change to students’ lives, it does show that there could be changes in the future.
Junior Riley Erben said, “I hope that as the year moves forward, we will be able to eliminate the mask requirement at school. While they are still necessary at this point in time, I think that once almost every student becomes fully vaccinated, we should be able to get the option as long as safety is no longer such a large risk for students.”
While the shift in COVID policies in schools will be essential to monitor, the changes outside of SPA walls will likely be much more significant. A heavy increase in vaccinations across the country will likely lead to even less restrictive COVID policies not only for children but for everyone. As more and more children become fully vaccinated after both doses, the world will come as close to normal as it has in the past two years.
“The expansion of vaccination statuses for younger kids will be really good for everyone in and out of schools,” junior Ben Chen said. “Teachers will be a lot safer and won’t have to worry about getting themselves or their loved ones sick as often. Also, little kids will finally have the opportunity to have safe and fun interactions with their older relatives, which will be really nice.”
A vaccine clinic, in collaboration with Corner Drug will held on the Randolph Campus tomorrow from 11-2. The approximately 270 appointments are filled.