Vaccination rates for children against Covid-19 vary in US states

States of USA with the highest rates of vaccination against Covid-19 among adults are planning a campaign to inoculate children, compared to others where strong indecision persists, which could widen the gaps in protection at the national level, experts and public health authorities said.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States authorized the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE for children ages 5 to 11, clearing the way for the distribution of some 50 million doses to the states to begin.

It is expected that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) give final clearance for the vaccine to be administered to that age group as early as Tuesday.

From there, the inoculation of children will vary greatly depending on where they live, according to more than two dozen state officials consulted by Reuters.

“We are going to be left with a bifurcated situation like we have with adults, where the northeast, the west coast and part of the upper Midwest will be vaccinated, and then in the best case scenario, the rest of the country will be partially vaccinated. “, said Ira Loss, senior health analyst at the research firm Washington Analysis.

California, New York, and Washington, all led by Democratic governors who have pushed for vaccination and mask use during the pandemic, are creating high-volume mobile sites and vaccination clinics for children and launching social media and ad campaigns to promote pediatric vaccines, spokesmen for those states’ public health departments said.

On the contrary, Republican state governors have largely resisted measures such as mandatory use of face masks or requiring vaccines in workplaces, schools and public areas. More than a dozen states, including Florida and Texas, have made efforts to prevent businesses or schools in their state from imposing such requirements.

Health authorities in some of those states, including Arkansas, Nebraska, Indiana and South Carolina, told Reuters they plan to rely on local healthcare providers to make vaccines available to children.

“We plan to use the current vaccination infrastructure that already exists to vaccinate children rather than having large-scale events,” said a spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department of Public Health.

While it is rare for children to become seriously ill or die from Covid-19 compared to adults, cases among unvaccinated people under the age of 17 have increased in recent months due to the Delta variant of the coronavirus, which is more contagious, and now account for more than 25% of infections in the United States.

Infected children can also transmit Covid-19 to other people at increased risk of serious illness, including people who have already been vaccinated.

Some public health experts say the most effective way to ensure that children are vaccinated is to make school compulsory, but few states are considering such a measure.

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