Countries are racing to immunize adults against Covid-19 and move toward a more normal future. To achieve the vaccination rates that health authorities are aiming for, the shots must eventually reach the arms of children and teenagers, too.
Children aren’t going to be vaccinated for several months at least, however, because drugmakers are still testing shots in younger ages.
That means health authorities can’t be confident of securing community protection against the virus, known as herd immunity, until later this year at the earliest, because children under 18 make up a significant proportion of many countries’ populations.
“We definitely need to get kids vaccinated if we want to be as close to normal as we can,” said Octavio Ramilo, chief of infectious diseases at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in Ohio.
As governments push to move past the pandemic, vaccinating children is emerging as a key obstacle, along with initially limited supplies of vaccines.