In the last couple of weeks, the Covid-19 numbers driven by the Omicron variant are declining and states across the country are loosening the pandemic measures used to slow down the spread of the virus. While indoor mask mandates and school mask mandates are dropping almost everywhere, health experts advise the unvaccinated to get the shot as soon as possible suggesting that we are not yet done with the pandemic.
America has one of the best vaccination rates so far. According to the data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday, more than 253 million people are vaccinated with at least one dose (76.3% of the population), more than 215 million are fully vaccinated (64.9% of the population) and nearly 94 million have received third, booster dose of the vaccine representing 43.6% of the fully vaccinated people.
Numerous studies have shown that Covid-19 vaccines work against the virus especially providing significant protection against developing severe condition, hospitalization or death. Although some very rare side effects are possible, the proven benefits of vaccinations far outweigh the potential risks and unfounded claims of danger.
Currently, everyone above the age of 5 is eligible to get vaccinated and protected against the deadly virus. Meanwhile, Pfizer and FDA are working on the emergency authorization of a Covid-19 vaccine suitable for children aged from 6 months to 5 years old, the only group left without vaccine protection against coronavirus.
While parents of children aged up to 5 years are divided if they are going to vaccinate their children, more and more young people are developing a potentially dangerous but quite rare hyper-inflammatory condition after being vaccinated with Covid-19 vaccines.
Researchers at the agency studied cases of multi-system inflammatory syndrome – an immune overreaction associated with COVID-19 infection – in vaccinated young people age 12 to 20 from Dec. 14, 2020, to Aug. 31, 2021.
They found 21 reports of MIS-C in those who received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the study published Tuesday in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. Six showed no evidence of prior coronavirus infection, and everyone in the study received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The report, understandably, rises parents’ concerns if they should allow their teenage children to get vaccinated against Covid-19, but experts are confident there is nothing to worry about since the number of MIS-C cases is very low compared to the number of vaccinated teenagers and MIS-C can be easily treated if discovered on time. In addition, experts claim that unvaccinated teenagers are more likely to develop MIS-C if they contract the virus.
“At first glance, it seems to cause us to step back and say, ‘Wait a minute, are these vaccines contributing to MIS-C?’” said Dr. Jim Versalovic, pathologist-in-chief and COVID-19 command center co-leader at Texas Children’s Hospital. “It does the opposite for me. It emphasizes the point of vaccination.”
As per the report, 11 young people developed MIS-C after their first dose and 10 after their second.
The median time from dose to hospitalization was eight days for those who received one vaccine dose and five days for those who received two. Under CDC guidelines, people are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their second dose.
“That tells me that these children were infected before they were vaccinated and they just didn’t have sufficient time to develop immunity with the vaccine prior to developing MIS-C,” Versalovic said.
“It is clear that children who are only partially vaccinated are still susceptible to MIS-C,” Versalovic said. “We’ve got to get those children who are eligible now vaccinated as soon as possible,” Versalovic finished.