Hard to beat Covid-19 without vaccinating children: Dr. Nisar ul Hassan

Srinagar: With no Covid-19 vaccine for kids yet, Dr. Nisar on Thursday said it is hard to beat the pandemic without vaccinating children.
“We won’t be able to defeat Covid-19 until children are vaccinated,” said influenza expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement to news agency KINS.

“The most realistic way to achieve herd immunity is through wide-scale vaccination,” he said.

“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 to Covid-19, 80-90 percent people need to be vaccinated,” the doctor said.

“That is unlikely to be achieved if children who constitute a huge proportion of the population are unvaccinated.”

“There are around 4.8 million kids in Jammu and Kashmir who cannot be vaccinated,” he said.

“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.”

“Covid-19 vaccine is required for children to return to classrooms and is important for ensuring safe learning environment in schools,” Dr Nisar said.

“Children can get infected at school and spread the virus to parents and grandparents at home who are more likely to develop severe disease. Children can also transmit the virus to teachers and other staff at school.”

“We saw more adults being affected by Covid-19, but children are certainly not immune,” he said.

“While most children who get Covid-19 infection develop mild illness, several hundreds have died of respiratory failure or an inflammatory syndrome.”

“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,” said Dr Nisar.

“A pediatric vaccine would not only help children, but it will be the basis of eventually eliminating Covid-19 in our population.”

“While the trials of Covid-19 vaccine for children have started, kids may have to wait for few more months before they will be included in vaccination schedules,” he said. (KINS)