Vaccinating young children against coronavirus is a civic duty

Opinion: At every phase of this pandemic, the experts have always been proven right, and as we find ourselves with a new tool in the arsenal in the battle against the virus, we all must do our part and protect our children

Amihai Attali|
Once Israel approves the vaccination of children aged 5-11 against coronavirus, I fully intend to get my two daughters inoculated. My other three kids, all over the age of 12, have already been vaccinated.
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  • What can I say? I'm a man of science who always trusts the experts.
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    חיסון ילדים התחסנות מתחסנים קורונה
    חיסון ילדים התחסנות מתחסנים קורונה
    A child receives a vaccine
    (Photo: Shutterstock)
    Of course, there is a certain level of concern. It is completely reasonable to worry about putting unknown chemicals in your body — more so when it comes to our children.
    But if there is something we have learned from the past year and a half fighting this pandemic, is to trust the professionals.
    We need not only to appreciate the experts but thank them. They managed to create tools capable of fighting this plague pretty much on the fly.
    In those early days of 2020, the virus seemed unbeatable when all of us were under lockdown and no one believed we would get a vaccine anytime soon.
    Now that we are introduced to an additional tool in that arsenal, will the skeptics rise up again?
    We have seen very clearly what happens to those who think they are better than scientists. If we let those voices take over, the cycle will continue — more lockdowns, more damage to the economy, more infections and unfortunately, more deaths.
    I'm certain there is not one person who wishes for this grim reality to return.
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    מחלקת הקורונה בבית החולים שיבא
    מחלקת הקורונה בבית החולים שיבא
    Sheba Medical Center's coronavirus ward
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Now, the responsibility passes on to the common citizen. As we have worked to protect the elderly, we must do the same with our children.
    We cannot escape the reality forced upon us by the pandemic. Most people live in the moment, unable to see how the consequences of our decisions might come back and bite us on the backside.
    The skeptics will come and talk about how kids who are infected with coronavirus don't develop serious symptoms and that there is no reason to inject them with chemicals, the long-term effects of which we do not know.
    Even if they are correct, the most crucial element of vaccinating children is stopping them from becoming potential virus carriers. Even if the disease does not affect them too harshly, children are the most potent spreaders of the virus, coming in contact with way more people than an average adult.
    They become infected, most of the time being asymptomatic, and pass the virus on to an older person who could end up seriously ill.
    In addition, there is a sizeable number of children who do become severely sick and others who suffer from post-COVID symptoms.
    The data following the vaccination of those over the age of 12 speaks for itself. Israel now boasts one of the lowest coronavirus infections rates in the world after it rapidly opted to start offering the public the booster shot.
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    מתחסנים בחיסון שלישי
    מתחסנים בחיסון שלישי
    A man receives his coronavirus vaccine booster shot at a pop-up clinic in Tel Aviv
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Anyone who continues to doubt the statistics, needs to imagine for a second what would have happened if this initiative was not promoted.
    The anti-vaxxers continue to enjoy themselves on the back of the country's sane majority.
    The FDA already gave its thumbs-up to vaccination of young children and the moment our Health Ministry follows suit, we all must do our duty and make haste for the nearest vaccination center.
    This is an opportunity for change in the public's perception. Each person will stay within the limits of what he or she understands on a basic level and not push their nose into issues or subjects they have no clue about.
    The experts have proven themselves again and again. Each time we tried our luck, when not enough people were vaccinated or when restrictions were not adhered to, we lost big time.
    If the experts agree, then they probably know what they are doing. This has been true for every phase of the pandemic.
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