Srinagar 28 January (KNB): With no Covid19 vaccine available for kids yet, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Thursday said it is hard to beat the pandemic without vaccinating children.
DAK President and influenza expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan said in a statement that “We won’t be able to defeat Covid19 until children are vaccinated,” adding that the most realistic way to achieve herd immunity is through wide-scale vaccination.
He also said that herd immunity is achieved when most of the population in a community is immune to the disease so that the virus can no longer spread easily from person to person.
“In order to achieve herd immunity against the pandemic, 80-90 percent of people need to be vaccinated,” said Dr Nisar.
He further said that the goal is unlikely to be achieved if children, who constitute a huge proportion of the population, are not vaccinated.
“There are around 4.8 million kids in Jammu and Kashmir who cannot be vaccinated. And if we leave a large number of the population unimmunized, we will not be able to break the chain of infection and pandemic will linger on,” said DAK President.
He further said that Covid19 vaccine is required for children to return to classrooms and is important for ensuring a safe learning environment in schools.
DAK President further said that children can get infected at school and spread the virus to parents and grandparents at home who are more likely to develop severe disease, adding that children can also transmit the virus to teachers and other staff at school.
Dr Nisar said that more adults are being affected by Covid19 infections, but children are certainly not immune. “Several hundreds have died of respiratory failure or an inflammatory syndrome even though most children who get Covid19 infection develop only mild illness,” he said.
He further said that It is unjust to allow kids to take on great burdens during the pandemic but not give them the opportunity to benefit from a vaccine. “A pediatric vaccine would not only help children, but it will be the basis of eventually eliminating Covid19 in our population,” said Dr Nisar.
“While the trials of Covid19 vaccine for children have started, kids may have to wait for a few more months before they will be included in vaccination schedules.” DAK President said. (KNB)