The Centers for Disease Control and prevention began monitoring the pace of daily vaccinations from mid-January. At present, it has come down to the lowest in the country since that time. The current weekly average of people getting their first dose of the vaccine is 231,695. This is 31% lower than that of the last week. It is almost 50% below that of the previous month. And when compared with that of April, these numbers don’t reach anywhere near.
Pace Of Daily Vaccination Comes To The Lowest
This does not mean that the country has inoculated a vast majority of its citizens. 16 States have not vaccinated even 50% of their population. In fact, 25% of the country’s population; 70000000, are yet to receive their shots against the virus.
Only almost 55% of the country’s population is fully protected against COVID 19. The number of those eligible for inoculation may increase, experts worry.
Pfizer/BioNTech, in the meantime, is planning to request emergency use authorization for their vaccine for a certain number of children below 12 years of age. This brings the country closer to expanding its safety net to those who remained unprotected for long. This deserves utmost significance in the wake of the fall season. Pfizer said that it will happen within a few days.
CDC’s Director too said that upon submission of the data on a vaccine for 5-11 age groups, it will consider it at the earliest. The country is waiting for such a vaccine with bated breaths.
FDA too is waiting for Pfizer to submit its data on the efficacy of their vaccine for children below 12. From there, it will be passed on to CDC. The agency will review it as fast as it can and will give its final nod within weeks.
CDC also reassured those who received the J&J and Moderna vaccines that it has not forgotten them. They are evaluating that too with utmost urgency.
For the time being, booster doses are available only to those who have received their second dose from Pfizer.
In the future, they may be able to mix and match vaccines. And that will happen when scientific data becomes available for it.
At present, COVID 19 vaccines are available only for those above 12 years of age. This worries health experts.
School season is about to begin. The number of infections among children is on the rise. And the dangerously transmissible Delta variant is spreading fast.
When Pfizer submits the data, two committees have to evaluate it. One is in line with FDA and the other with CDC. If the company submits its data this week, it may reach the committee towards the end of next month. And it will have lots of data to analyze. The agency has to practice utmost caution because it is a vaccine for children. They need to monitor everything right; adverse events and effectiveness.
Even when the vaccine is available, the toughest job is to vaccinate kids. The least vaccinated group in the country is adolescents.
CDC has to create awareness among the general public. It will have to teach them the importance of vaccination for children. They should know that it is a must not only for children but also for the entire family.
If the country wants to keep its children in school, it has to protect them from infections. Health officials recommend masks and social distancing until vaccines become available for children.
Schools have to ensure proper ventilation in their buildings, conduct testing at regular intervals, and have a mechanism to deal with quarantined students.
Experts expect the current surge to decline by thanksgiving. But the upcoming flu season is a time of uncertainty.