Children are the next frontier in the vaccination saga, and Richard Swerdlow says protections for kids can’t come soon enough.
I was five years old in 1962, but I still remember how happy my parents were that I was eating sugar. That may sound strange to today's parents, but this sugar was more than just sugar. Inside the sugar cube was a dose of polio vaccine.
In the 1950's, the polio virus infected thousands every year. Like COVID, many who got polio had mild symptoms and recovered. But a small number died or suffered paralysis. Like COVID, the contagious nature of polio was terrifying, and those stricken by the virus were placed in isolation and on ventilators. But when vaccinations were rolled out, infections dropped dramatically, and by 1994, polio was considered eradicated in the United States.
I may have been only five, but when that polio vaccine became available, the collective relief was obvious even to me, a kindergartner.
And kindergartners in 2021 may one day have the same memories, since it seems only a matter of time before COVID vaccines will be required for school.