Benefits of Children Being Vaccinated Against COVID-19 Outweigh Concerns

5-11 year olds become eligible for COVID-19 vaccines leads to increased herd immunity, peace of mind

Yoni Zacks , Contributing Writer

On Nov. 3 2021, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention gave emergency authorization for the Pfizer vaccine for 5-11 year olds. Since then, according to NBC News, over 2 million children have been vaccinated. But that is only 7% of children, meaning that there are over 20 million kids not vaccinated. 

Despite concerns that parents may have, the pros of child vaccinations far outweigh the cons/ All eligible children should get vaccinated. The benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccination are numerous. The first one is, obviously, less of a chance of getting COVID-19, and if you do (because the vaccine, like all vaccines, is not perfect), your symptoms will not be as bad, or as life threatening. As a vaccinated person myself, I feel so much safer than I did before being vaccinated against COVID-19, and I know my family will feel much safer once my 11-year-old brother, 7-year-old sister, and 6-year-old cousin are fully vaccinated.

You don’t just have less of a chance of getting COVID, but there are other benefits as well. The CDC website has a different set of guidlines for vaccinated people, which include being able to “Participate in many of the activities that they did before the pandemic” (CDC). It also states that “In general, fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask outdoors.” 

The website goes on to talk about several topics, including being able to travel within the U.S. without getting tested, not having to quarantine after traveling (both in the U.S. and abroad), and arguably the biggest benefit, not having to quarantine if you are a close contact for a COVID-19 case. This guideline is part of Blake’s policies as well. Even though Blake (as of December 9th) has 4 active COVID-19 cases among those considered fully vaccinated (those who got vaccinated at the clinic are not fully vaccinated until Tuesday, December 14th), there are 0 close contacts.

Another reason for children to get vaccinated is the social impact. As mentioned by the CDC above, vaccinated people can go back to pre-pandemic activites, such as traveling, going to malls, hanging out with friends, and birthday parties. Lots of those things involve spending time out with friends, something I know I have missed during the pandemic, as have my siblings.

In an email sent to all students and parents on Nov. 17 2021, Dr. Anne Stavney stated that “at [the] Blake community clinic, we vaccinated 1,100 children ages 5-11. Of those, 365 are Blake students.” This means that there are many students within the lower school who are vaccinated, and many outside of Blake too.

Anna Craig’ 25, who had COVID-19 in November of 2020, commented on her experience with the illness. She says, “I had a bit of a cough, and a runny nose.” After getting vaccinated, she had “a sore arm.”  When asked if getting vaccinated was better or if COVID was, she replied, “Vaccinated. Definitely.” That is someone who experienced both firsthand stating that being vaccinated was better than COVID.