משה בר סימן טוב
Moshe Bar-Siman-Tov
Photo: Yoav Dudkevich
A child receives his coronavirus vaccine at a clinic in Netivot

Why I am planning to vaccinate my children against COVID

Opinion: As Israel launches its pediatric vaccine drive, former Health Ministry DG writes to Ynet that although he understands why some parents may feel hesitant, they should consider the safety of their children to be top priority and prevent the possibility of the pandemic making a comeback

Moshe Bar-Siman-Tov |
Published: 11.23.21, 23:58
I guess it would surprise no one, but I intend to get my young children vaccinated against coronavirus.
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  • I have dedicated a lot of thought to this decision and I understand the worries and the natural human reaction of opting to wait and seeing how things go.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    ילדים מתחסנים נגד נגיף הקורונה
    ילדים מתחסנים נגד נגיף הקורונה
    A child receives his coronavirus vaccine at a clinic in Netivot
    (Photo: Roee Idan)
    But for a number of reasons, the decision to vaccinate is the right one.
    The first and most important reason is the children. At the end of the day, the disease can hurt them as well and cause long-term ailments we still do not fully understand.
    We still can't explain who is in danger from the virus and who isn't, so even the smallest chance of my children getting seriously sick from COVID is enough for me to vaccinate them.
    The second reason is the principle of mutual responsibility. We cannot tackle emergencies in general, and this pandemic in particular, without a sense of social responsibility.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    חיסוני ילדים בתל אביב
    חיסוני ילדים בתל אביב
    A child is getting vaccinated against COVID in Tel Aviv
    (Photo: AP)
    We still don't know if Israel is on the cusp of a fifth COVID infection wave, but as more time passes since the last one, the winter enters in full force and a sizeable chunk of the population remains unvaccinated - the risk of a renewed outbreak increases.
    Data has shown a rise in infections among children, which fortunately did not coincide with a similar rise in serious cases for now.
    The images coming from Europe and across the world remind us that a renewed outbreak is inevitable if we don't take action.
    Pediatric vaccinations might be the best tool to prevent this. I personally know and trust Israel's health officials and experts, who did all the necessary research and more before allowing the vaccines for children.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    תור לחיסונים בוינה, אוסטריה
    תור לחיסונים בוינה, אוסטריה
    People waiting in line to receive their coronavirus vaccine in Vienna, Austria
    (Photo: Reuters)
    We also cannot assume that the adults who received the vaccine will do the same with their children. The success of the campaign hinges on those parents who are still on the fence.
    I believe they are not many, but a proper public discourse on the matter, focusing on social responsibility, will persuade them to make the right decision.
    So, no pressure - but I would advise you to have your kids vaccinated, as well as yourself if you have yet to do so.
    I wish every one of us a healthy and good winter.

    Moshe Bar-Siman-Tov is a former director-general at the Health Ministry and a guest researcher for the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University.
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