Schools Could Help More Kids Get the COVID-19 Vaccine. But History Has Some Warnings

Now that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine for kids aged 5 to 11, the Biden Administration has signaled that it will rely on a “trusted messenger” to get information to parents and provide access to vaccines once they’re approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: schools. As part of the plan to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to the youngest population yet, schools will again take on a role they’ve assumed during health crises throughout American history: promoting vaccination to keep kids and communities safe from infectious disease. “Schools have probably been the most important agent of the U.S. being a highly vaccinated population,” says Richard Meckel, a professor of American studies at Brown University. According to experts on vaccination history who spoke with TIME, efforts to fight past childhood scourges—such as polio, smallpox and diphtheria—highlight the important role schools can play. But there are also lessons to be gleaned about what happens when parents and public health officials disagree. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Given that October polling suggests only 27% of parents who have kids aged 5 to 11 intend to get their children vaccinated right away—while 30% say they will “definitely not” have their child vaccinated—it’s clear that vaccine proponents have little room for error if they want to win over ner...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 healthscienceclimate Source Type: news