Young People MUST BE Vaccinated Against Covid-19!

Image from the CDC; found via unsplash.com

A teenager in Arizona is hurting: worrying about his unvaccinated parents, worrying about his own health, and lamenting the things he’s missing because all his friends are vaccinated—and vaccination is required for many school and social events.

Another teenager, who lives in Florida, is keeping her vaccination a secret from both her divorced parents: the father who emphatically opposed this move; and the mother she wants to spare from her father’s wrath.

And then there’s Ethan Lindenberger in Ohio, who went public with his efforts to stress the importance of vaccinations in general with testimony before the Senate two years ago, when he was 18. He finally received the Covid-19 vaccine in early May of this year.

He tells his peers:

“Don’t get yourself kicked out or seriously in trouble…but, if you’re able to have [a loving] conversation, please get your shots as soon as possible.”

As if being a teenager weren’t fraught with enough sturm und drang, a number of kids who have made it through the challenging pandemic year are now struggling with this potentially life-and-death parent/child clash.

A Harris poll recently found that roughly one in four parents say they won’t vaccinate their kid against Covid-19. Even odder is this finding, as reported in Forbes: “more than 10% intend to only have their child receive one dose, which may not be enough to protect against the Delta variant now taking hold in the U.S.”

Some of those polled were waiting for more research in children; others either were opposed to vaccination or felt Covid-19 didn’t warrant vaccination.

This vaccine hesitancy has become especially dangerous because of the Delta variant, the newest and most contagious strain of the coronavirus to date. Dr. Anthony Fauci has confirmed that it’s now the most prevalent source of the disease—and its growth is rapid.

A UK study found that children and adults younger than 50 were 2.5 times more likely to be infected with the Delta variant. And, noted Inci Yildirim, MD, PhD, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Yale Medicine:

“As older age groups get vaccinated, those who are younger and unvaccinated will be at higher risk of getting COVID-19 with any variant. But Delta seems to be impacting younger age groups more than previous variants.”

Concerns about reports of myocarditis in vaccinated young men have undoubtedly played a role. But two emergency department physicians and an epidemiologist put those cases in perspective in a New York Times essay titled “Covid Is a Greater Risk to Young People Than the Vaccines.”

They write that vaccinating young people against Covid-19 is “crucial” and “This remains true even when we consider the worst possible outcomes from vaccination.”

The choice, they assert, isn’t between vaccinating or doing nothing: it’s between vaccinating or getting the disease, which is now expected to remain with us indefinitely.

They specifically address the issue of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart lining that’s been found.

To make their case, they use numbers of hospitalizations.

Among fully vaccinated Americans 17 and under (6.14 million), there have been 653 hospitalizations lasting one day or longer that were “possibly related” to the vaccine.

In contrast, in unvaccinated young people who have caught the disease, the hospitalizations are more severe, some lasting at least 6 days, and nearly one-third of patients have entered the intensive care unit. To date, there have been 326 deaths of American youngsters age 17 and under.

And some of those infected developed Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, in which “heart complications of the syndrome are both more common overall and far more long-lasting than what’s seen with vaccine-related myocarditis among teenagers.”

As these unvaccinated youngsters age, if they become infected with Covid-19, their risks of complications increase.

Finally, we need kids vaccinated to protect everyone.

Their conclusion:

Bad things inevitably happen to a small number of people after any vaccination, a few caused by the vaccines, but most not. The risk of vaccination must be compared against the risk of the disease that a vaccine prevents, not against zero risk. The choice is between getting vaccinated against Covid-19 and eventually getting it.

“Given the current data, the conclusion is clear: The virus is more dangerous.”

In some instances, apparently, facts have ultimately won out. I learned of two organizations formed to help kids who want to get vaccinated: Teens for Vaccines and VaxTeen.

Both groups say the information they provide has enabled these young people to persuade their parents.

It’s imperative that anyone in contact with hesitant adults—or their eager-to-be-vaccinated kids—tries to break through the dangerous misinformation/disinformation.

Even those of us who are fully vaccinated and doing everything right have a stake in this effort. The Delta variant will not be the last, and each succeeding mutation has proven to be more contagious than its predecessors.

Annie

35 thoughts on “Young People MUST BE Vaccinated Against Covid-19!

  1. Have many lost faith in doctors, relying on over the counter medicines, advice from the internet and telling doctors which advertised patent medicines we want rather than taking their advice?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. For months there has been a sustained, high-intensity campaign on the right-wing internet to convince people that the covid-19 vaccines are dangerous and/or don’t work and/or are immoral because their development process was connected with abortion in some way. Combined with the even longer campaign in the same “news” sites to convince people that covid-19 itself is not serious or is an outright hoax, this outcome is hardly surprising.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Geographer Jared Diamond has explained that human societies are slow to address existential threats, even when the danger is evident and a solution is at hand.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. human societies are slow to address existential threats

        Except that it’s not “human societies” in general in this case. The majority of American society rapidly embraced masks and social distancing to contain the pandemic, and got vaccinated once vaccines were available. The problem is a large minority of brainwashed stupid people, not the whole society.

        Liked by 4 people

      3. That’s clearly true, Infidel. But somehow plenty of young people haven’t bought into their parents’ disinformation. That is sad, but it’s also hopeful.

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      4. Except that it’s not “human societies” in general in this case. […] The problem is a large minority of brainwashed stupid people, not the whole society.

        Thus have you put your finger squarely on the problem with societies. Every human society includes the village drunk, the village idiot, and to not account for their existence when planning just ensures that plans will fail.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Well, it’s too many; that’s for sure. I wonder where we’d be at this point if the former guy had been willing to simply say “get vaccinated.” This is crazy stuff.

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    1. Joseph, the nature of this virus doesn’t give comfort in that regard. So far, the vaccines are holding up fairly well. But Pfizer feels compelled to come up with a booster. We know that the longer there are substantial numbers of unvaccinated people, the more variants there will be. I’m not sure we can expect to continually escape from the damage caused by the willful ignorance of some.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Which is what natural selection is all about. If a species cannot adapt to new conditions, it will eventually evolve or die off. Evidently the bulk of the population can survive the virus, even when infected. Those who refuse to be vaccinated may be ok, but many will die. Of course, as you suggest, new strains may produce new problems for all of us. There seems to be a certain number of our species who refuse to use their brains. It must have some evolutionary benefit, but I don’t know what that would be.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. The evolutionary benefit of stupidity, in the face of factual information, is exactly population control. If almost everyone was smart, many if not most of the world’s problems would not exist…but we would be much more overpopulated.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Joseph,

    I was reacting to the sentiment I hear that suggests those of us who are smart enough to get vaccinated shouldn’t worry about the people who don’t. I think it’s more complicated than that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is more complicated than that. If not enough people are vaccinated, there will be variants that are not affected by the vaccine, until they are tweaked and some maybe never. And stupidity, unfortunately, effects those who do use their brains, as well. Nature doesn’t care. It just reacts.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If not enough people are vaccinated, there will be variants that are not affected by the vaccine

        To the extent that this is true, it makes no difference whether those unvaccinated people are inside the United States or outside it, given the ease with which new variants cross borders. If unvaccinated populations giving rise to new variants is a concern — and it probably should be — then the most effective way of addressing that concern would be to increase the supply of vaccines to places like India and Africa, where hundreds of millions of people want the vaccines but cannot get them, rather than focusing on the relatively-small numbers of unvaccinated within the US, most of who have access to vaccines but do not want them (the exception being minors who are not free to make their own decisions, as Annie points out) and will continue to resist using them.

        The best defense against the rise of new variants would be (a) to suspend the patent-law obstacles which are blocking poorer countries from making or obtaining adequate vaccine supplies, and/or (b) to increase our own production so we can supply those countries with more vaccines ourselves. We are doing this to some extent but far greater supplies are needed.

        The US is not an island and 96% of the world is outside the US. That point must always be front and center of all our thinking about global problems like pandemics and climate change. Nature indeed doesn’t care — about international borders or the importance we attach to who lives on which side of them.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Infidel: Manifestly right. The origins of the pandemic were in Wuhan, China, of course. We must do better.

        I just listened to a discussion reminding us that the unvaccinated in the US are a varied lot, and many don’t fall into the willfully ignorant. One speaker, who didn’t cite a source, said that group amounts to only between 9 and 11 percent of adults. There’s still a need for creative approaches to reach people who live on hourly wages and don’t feel they can take off from work (though Biden has urged employers to provide the time), don’t know that the vaccine is available for free, and/or are fearful undocumented immigrants. A friend of one speaker who works in an outreach center for immigrants told her that there was a police car parked in front–for security–but it was clearly a deterrent. Churches, it seems, have become popular sites in some areas, and a priest’s encouragement can be effective.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Yes, Annie. I agree that it is a complicated situation. Those of us who are vaccinated are much less likely to have deadly repercussions from the virus. And we are at increasing risk from those who refuse to follow science because new strains WILL develop. But I don’t worry about the people who refuse vaccination, I worry about the rest of us. We have been held hostage by the idiots socially, economically and politically for a very long time. I am no longer tolerant of the “proud ignorance” which is the calling card of this anti-democracy movement. I have no empathy for them. How many times do they have to demonstrate not only ignorance, but cruelty, in the name of “freedom”. They put doctors, nurses, their own children and everyone else at risk. We are in the midst of a second Civil War, and the anti-vax crowd is just one manifestation of that mentality. I no longer tolerate the intolerable.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. They are running ads here on TV to target the kids…..and I’m wondering what the schools will do come fall, if it might become mandatory at some point, like it is for other vaccinations here?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Joni: I would like to see more places make vaccination mandatory. Every time I hear of a decision that treats Covid differently from other diseases for which vaccination has long been mandatory, I assume politicization is at work.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have had more than enough of the ignorance of those who refuse to be vaccinated, for they are prolonging the agony and contributing to even more deaths. The comparisons by some, even our elected representatives, to “Brown Shirts” and the Holocaust are ridiculous, disrespectful and dangerous. What the hell is wrong with half the people in this country … did they all opt for experimental lobotomies???

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Fortunately, Jill, it’s less than half—and I suspect more minds can be changed. Unfortunately, the burden falls mercilessly on healthcare professionals and others who must care for the willfully ignorant.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I hope it is far less than half … in truth, I would estimate around 25%, but they are so loud and obnoxious that they seem like half the country! Let us hope that the healthcare professionals and others can open their eyes. In my view, you have a right to jeopardize your own life if you so choose, but you do NOT have the right to jeopardize the lives of others. That is criminal negligence! Sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. It should be mandatory and then these kids (and anyone else who feels in the minority) who have to go up against their parents or guardians or employers or neighbors and so forth can at least have the protection of the law to point to in their defense. As to the others who willfully ignore the facts, their selfishness is breathtaking, infuriating and tragic

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Hey, all. I just caught a headline: CPAC cheers as nation misses the vaccination goal. What is the matter with these people?

    Like

  7. MDavis: One of the problems is that some of the Village Drunks and Village Idiots are in decision-making positions. I’m thinking of the Tennessee politicians who ousted the woman in charge of vaccines because she pointed out an old ordinance allowing young people to be vaccinated without parental consent.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The most staggering thing here was the parents who limit their children to one shot. What possible line of reasoning is being followed here? It really must be dispiriting to be a epidemiologist at the top of your profession, have worked all of your life to develop your expertise, deliver a vaccine to order in quick time, and have your work disparaged on purely ideological grounds. *sigh*

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It breaks my heart to hear health professionals—who are putting their lives on the line—talk about their frustration and anguish, Matthew. And how infuriating to think about young people who are trying to get vaccinations but can’t because of their parents’ denial of reality. Are you seeing this in your environs?

      Like

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