Director of the Yale Institute for Global Health (YIGH) and Yale School of Nursing (YSN) affiliate Dr. Saad B. Omer, MBBS, MPH, PhD, FIDSA, recently published an opinion editorial in The Washington Post advocating for COVID-19 vaccines for children.
In “Kids deserve the vaccine, too. It will keep them — and adults — safe,” Dr. Omer points out that barely 48 percent of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated and that many states are well below this target.
“It is hard to imagine gaining sufficient ground against the virus without vaccinating a large share of teens and children,” he writes.
“Vaccinating children would eliminate the need to choose between keeping them safe and restoring a sense of normalcy for them. After all, children will be going back to indoor classrooms this fall; children are subject to testing every time they get the sniffles; children often wear masks, even in hot weather; and many children are missing out on the swim lessons and birthday parties that still haven’t resumed in parts of the United States.”
Dr. Omer also addressed vaccine equity, objecting to categorizing it as a zero-sum game.
“Taking away vaccines from young people in America would yield only a small fraction of the doses the rest of the world needs. And if there is a substantial increase in cases and hospitalizations in the United States — already a country with one of the highest death tolls from covid-19 — domestic pressure on the government is likely to decrease the willingness to prioritize global vaccine access.”
In addition to his roles at YSN and YIGH, Dr. Omer is also a professor at the Yale School of Medicine and the Yale School of Public Health.