This should go without saying, given the way we’ve bungled myriad other aspects of our response to COVID-19, but we’re likely underestimating the challenges that will come with vaccinating children younger than 12.
For one thing, parents are skeptical. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor, 73% plan either to wait and see, comply only if schools enforce a mandate or refuse it entirely.
Also lost on the vaccine-eager and vaccine-hesitant alike is the sheer enormity of the challenge, given the 28.4 million children aged 5 to 11 in the U.S. Factor in the strong possibility that parents will only entrust the task to a known family physician and, well, that could mean a slower rollout than anyone wants — less a current than a drip.
Young children have proven incredibly resilient over the course of the last 20 months. Here’s hoping the vaccination push accelerates their much-deserved return to something akin to normal.