The San Francisco Department of Health has decided to make COVID19 shot for children who are 5 to 11 years old mandatory to be able to participate in society. However, many parents have condemned the decision stating that the health officials have taken the decision to mandate COVID 19 shots despite no one who has been below the age of 20 years has lost their lives in the city. The data from San Francisco’s official COVID19 tracker has shown that no one under the age of 20 years has died out of 664 people who have lost their lives when the virus has hit the states nearly two years ago. The data has revealed that only 1529 children have been diagnosed with COVID19 infection in the city in that period. Parents have been asking the officials if they will have to carry their children’s birth certificates to restaurants and grocery stores to show their kids are not eligible for vaccines yet. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that less than 700 people who have been below 18 years of age have succumbed to COVID19. Only 206 of them have been below 5 years of age. However, the recording of the data has started in April 2020 itself. The CDC figures have shown that there have been nearly 1.9 million confirmed cases in kids who have been in the age group of 5 to 11 years from March 2020 to October 10, 2020. Well, some experts say that figures might be much higher than the official number as some children might have been down with mild or asymptomatic infection who might have not been tested.
The officials have said that despite the data and figures, children who are in age set of 5 to 11 years will have to prove they are immunized in order to enter indoor restaurants and entertainment spots in San Francisco. San Francisco is the first city in the United States that has implemented strict vaccine mandates for indoor settings in August 2021 for kids and adults who are above 12 years of age. The decision has come after the CDC has given a go-ahead to Pfizer pediatric COVID19 shot for children aged 5 to 11 years. The CDC’s decision to grant emergency use authorization to Pfizer pediatric shots has led to a storm of debates across the US. Some opponents have been saying that there is not enough data to suggest that immunizing kids aged 5 to 11 years is required. They have said that children in this age group are at a lower risk of COVID19 and they contribute to only 0.1 percent of more than 750000 COVID19 deaths in the US. With CDC’s decision, the US has become the first nation to authorize a COVID19 shot for children as young as 5 years. However, scientists in the UK have given a warning to officials against suggesting a shot for this age group. Many polls have shown that many parents are not willing to get their children immunized and one poll has revealed that only a third might consider vaccinating their kids.
Health Officer of San Francisco, Susan Philip has said that the city administration will give children only two months to get fully immunized after that they will need to have their vaccination passport or they will not be allowed to enter local establishments. Vaccination for children in this age range has started in California the day after the CDC has authorized Pfizer pediatric shot. A report says that China has already started vaccinating its children as young as 3 years old. Chile has started rolling out vaccines for children who are in the age set of 6 years and above. Israel as well might follow the US footsteps as the CDC has given a green signal to Pfizer’s pediatric shot. Bahrain as well has authorized Sinopharm COVID19 pediatric vaccine for children aged 3 to 11 years. However, these countries are exceptions as many countries are still measuring the risks and benefits of vaccinating small children against COVID19.