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Pfizer Is Making A COVID-19 Vaccine For Children — What This Means For The Future

Pfizer recently announced the results of its study on the effectiveness of its vaccine for kids. Here’s how it performed.

Pfizer’s vaccine study in adolescents aged 12–15 showed a whopping 100% efficacy (Credit: CBS Boston)

Yesterday, Pfizer released a report on its COVID-19 vaccine study in adolescents. The results of the study were nothing short of remarkable. The study showed 100% efficacy in a study of 2,260 participants between the ages of 12–15. This means that out of all of the participants that took this COVID vaccine, not one person caught the virus. Let me repeat that: nobody caught the virus.

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for adults showed a 95% efficacy. This 100% effectiveness means that this new vaccine formulated specifically for kids and teens is more effective than the vaccines being distributed right now. Pfizer has also announced that it is submitting this data to the FDA to get the Emergency Use Authorization as soon as possible. With all this information, one question pops into my mind: What’s next?

The Future That Lies Ahead For Schools

This new vaccine that is aimed at kids and teens is important in many ways, many of which help schools.

Reopening Schools

Vaccinating children will help with the reopening of schools across the nation. Currently, many teachers are getting vaccinated as schools across the nation start to reopen and enter either part-time or full-time instruction inside school buildings. After vaccinating students, schools could return to full-time, in-person learning for all students by the next school year, which starts this fall. This is very important for many reasons. In 2020, the whole world experienced a shortage of teachers due to them either being laid off or quitting. With schools opening up again, not only is there a chance for this shortage of teachers to end, but there is also a definitive chance for more teachers to join the workforce, which hasn’t happened much after April 2020.

Making Teaching Easier

Another important effect of vaccinating children is that reopening schools takes a heavy burden off of school districts. When districts were forced to go into online learning, it hit them hard; the world wasn’t ready for the pandemic, and schools were no exception. It was as if we saw it coming yet we remained unprepared. With this new vaccine on the way, schools can reopen safely again, possibly at the capacity they were at before the pandemic. When it comes to learning, this is a huge sigh of relief for students, as learning through computer screens has been challenging for several students. (For those who relaxed during online classes, however, this might not be as exciting.)

The state of school closures in November 2020. (Credit: Education Week and Pew Trusts)

Doing The Numbers

Currently, American adults are being vaccinated at a rapid rate of 2.7 million vaccine doses every day. At this rate, it will take roughly 4 months to vaccinate 75% of the population. We must also take into account that these figures are only for American adults, not teens or kids. According to the 2010 census, people under the age of 18 made up 24 percent of the population, or in other words, they made up almost a quarter of the population. That’s almost 75 million people! If 85% of this age group were to be vaccinated, that would add up to 63.75 million vaccinated kids and teens.

If we were to take the hypothetical 75% of the vaccinated US population (246,150,000 people) and add the 63.75 million vaccinated kids and teens to it, we would get a combined total of 309.9 million vaccinated people in the United States. That would mean almost a whopping 94% of the population would be vaccinated! That percentage could be more or less depending on the actual rate of people that are vaccinated, but it is still sufficient for herd immunity to be reached.

A graph made by the New York Times in February of this year shows the US reaching total herd immunity in May of this year if 3 million vaccine doses are given every day. (Credit: New York Times)

Possible Schedule For Reopening

With herd immunity in place, we can expect to see many things happen. One major thing we should see is a steady decline in the growth of total COVID-19 cases and deaths. We can also see the reopening of states and businesses, which will lead to the rebound of the economy. Though some sectors of the economy have recovered from the catastrophic March-April 2020 crash, some sectors like the travel and restaurant industries are still in a tight spot. With businesses reopening and people going out again, we can expect to finally see things go back to normal.

Experts say that the timeline for this may seem complex, but it is fairly simple. We will start to have things gradually go back to normal during the spring and summer of this year, with businesses and transit start to slowly reopen. Next, in the fall and winter of this year, schools will start to fully reopen and businesses will be opening up. Though there is a chance for a resurgence in cases during this period due to the cold weather, vaccinations will help suppress it. Finally, in the spring of 2022, we could see life go completely back to normal after almost 2 years of this horrible pandemic. Though some people may seem uncertain about the future, we still need to keep hope. We are almost there.

I want to end this article off with an important note. Just because vaccinations are ramping up and the future is starting to look bright doesn’t mean we should stop following safety measures. Some states like Michigan are seeing another surge in cases. All this time, we were able to get to where we are right now due to following safety measures such as wearing masks and social distancing. We didn’t come this far just to go back to what we had last year. All the possibilities of returning to normal that I listed above are projections made with the assumption that the same health and safety measures are kept.

As I said earlier, we are almost there and we have to hang on tight. So remember this: keep a mask on and stay at least 6 feet away from other people when you are outside. If we all stay safe, then we will get through this.

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Krishna V

Krishna V

I write about politics, the stock market, and many other interesting topics — Writer for TechTalkers

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