Covid policy around teenagers needs a boost
Throughout the pandemic, it has been widely understood that teenagers and younger children hardly need to be vaccinated because they are far less at risk from severe consequences of Covid-19. The efforts to vaccinate 12 to 18-year-olds has been done largely to combat the spread of the virus and thereby protect vulnerable adults.
I had my children vaccinated primarily for the greater good of protecting our community and secondarily because, with billions of doses administered globally, the safety and health benefits of the vaccine are demonstrable.
However, medical experts warn us that, while we will benefit from the booster and potentially a fourth dose, we will not be able to take a booster every six to nine months indefinitely. To do so would likely weaken our immune system.
We know the efficacy of the vaccine reduces over time, but with all of the above taken into consideration, I am disturbed that a teenager cannot return to school as quickly after travel and is also subject to more onerous quarantine requirements for close contacts as soon as the time after their second shot or booster becomes greater than six months.
No one, including, say, a vulnerable adult, is eligible for a booster until six months from their last dose. One does not need to be a medical expert to see that it makes little sense for a child to go from being ineligible for the booster to be immediately in effect at “higher risk” at six months plus one day.
For children, stretching out the timeline a bit farther between shots is probably smarter.