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What can make this pandemic take a backseat forever?

The announcement that the Center for Disease Control will begin giving COVID vaccines to children aged five and under could prove a turning point in the fight against the illness that has infected several million people up until now. While it’s a joyous moment for parents and everyone growing intolerant of anything that has to do with this virus, University of California’s researcher Andrew Noymer reminds us that it’s not the last step in this fight.

The battle continues with hundreds of daily cases, even if fatality and hospitalization rates are remarkably lower. Although it’s true, it can be worth soaking that nearly 18 million more individuals are ready to build their immunity against the pandemic virus through vaccines. Soon even these figures will be higher, making the country more protected.

The health leaders urge people to complete their vaccine courses if they want this pandemic to wane and convert into endemic. Else, the low vaccine adoption rate, wave of new variants, and other factors will not allow the situation to become any better.

  • Low vaccination percentage is a significant concern

According to the CDC reports, almost two-thirds of the American population has had their initial jabs. But when you consider the vaccination rate among younger people, the number would look disappointing. For example, in one week, not even 30% of candidates (age 5 to 11 years) completed their doses.

While the parents’ nervousness around vaccines for their kids is understandable, it can be more dangerous to avoid the injection, as per Dr. Jesica Herrick of the University of Illinois College of Medicine. Those who don’t recognize the severity of the issue can look at data that suggests that nearly 90% of unvaccinated children in the age group of 5 to 11 required hospitalization during the omicron wave in December.

Then, there is an opinion that Americans are experiencing COVID fatigue. Physicians opine that lack of access to data among people prevents them from doing what they need to do at this hour. Since doctors have the required knowledge, most of them rush to vaccinate their children as soon as possible. Also, omicron and the two new subvariants don’t infect people (especially the vaccinated and boosted lot) severely.

As a result, many don’t even think prevention is necessary. You witness similar sentiments when you look at MyBioSource’s recent poll that reveals only 3% of people feel that COVID is a big concern in the US.

University of Washington’s Ali Mokdad says that omicron may not be the last variant as long as the virus continues to morph itself and spread. One cannot predict their future form also. It’s not the time to declare or even believe that the pandemic has ended.

  • Solutions for the pandemic to turn into an endemic 

Pandemic tends to be a worldwide phenomenon, while endemic diseases remain restricted. Although both can be a health hazard, pandemic tends to be highly widespread and severe. In this context, there is an effort to convert this pandemic into an endemic in the country. The health experts are already working on this to restore normalcy. But for this, COVID casualties have to come down to the level of influenza that typically claims an average of 165 deaths a day. It will be helpful to know that the country reported 371 new deaths per day in the penultimate week of June.

The targeted vaccine doses for the viral variants may help achieve a desirable goal in this fight. FDA and CDC are exploring such options with companies like Pfizer and Moderna, which have done clinical tests on omicron-specific vaccines.

The results have been encouraging so far. But these may launch only toward the fall season. However, it doesn’t mean you should wait for it for your kid. Vaccines go through a comprehensive review and approval process before appearing on the market for use. Hence, it’s better to get the kid vaccinated. A higher vaccination percentage can offer more protection against the virus.

All the health leaders emphasize the need to follow vaccine mandates, but many people don’t seem convinced enough to make the right choice. The agencies and advisors are also considering incentive programs to draw the attention of those in denial mode about the vaccine’s efficacy. Then, many people are also a victim of misinformation.

If some believe official measures are taking away their freedom, others think vaccines can change their DNA. While it is good to have a thought process, it sometimes becomes necessary to test one’s knowledge for its relevancy and practicality. One also has to ensure they don’t consume wrong or misleading information that only causes harm or doesn’t help.

More precisely, if you want this virus to leave our lives, you must think in broader terms. Analyze the situation without any emotional or cultural bias. Only a close look at the events can enable you to choose wisely and appropriately.

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