Puerto Rican Governor Pedro Pierluisi announced on Wednesday that all school children over the age of 5 need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to attend school.
According to the Associated Press, Pierluisi argued that there were few exceptions because the vaccine was approved for children between the ages of 5 and 11.
Health Minister Carlos Melrado said the goal is to vaccinate 95% of children aged 5-11, or about 227,000 children. Currently, about 87 percent of children between the ages of 12 and 15 are vaccinated.
To date, approximately 219,000 COVID-19 cases have been reported and 3,244 have died on an island with a population of 3.3 million.
On November 2, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that all 28 million children between the ages of 5 and 11 in the United States be vaccinated with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. Exceptions include people who have a severe allergic reaction to either the vaccine or its ingredients.
Members of the CDC Advisory Board were worried about heart inflammation in young people, but eventually agreed with CDC scientists that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks.
“The data are confident that there is another vaccine that will save children’s lives and that it can be used to the fullest extent to achieve its intended purpose without serious concern about serious adverse events. I think it confirms that, “says Sarah Long, a panel member and professor of pediatrics at Dr. Drexel University School of Medicine.
Based on federal data, men aged 16 to 17 years develop at least 69 inflammations per million doses after the second dose of the Pfizer primary series.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 1.9 million COVID-19s have been recorded in children aged 5 to 11 years, 8,300 hospitalized and 94 dead. According to the CDC, about 20 percent of hospitalizations are due to other reasons.
Following the CDC’s decision, schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest school district in the United States, have announced that vaccines will be available to students aged 5 to 11 years.
Unlike Puerto Rico, the vaccine is optional. However, students over the age of 12 must be vaccinated. Proof of vaccination is required for people of all ages to participate in extracurricular activities directly.
New York City also announced that Mayor Bill de Blasio has made pediatric vaccines available at schools starting November 8. The mayor requested parental permission or witness during the vaccination.
The White House had already begun distributing pediatric vaccines before it was officially approved by the CDC.
“From the week of November 8th, the children’s vaccination program will be fully operational,” said Jeff Seiens, White House COVID-19 Response Team Coordinator, on November 1st.
“Parents can make appointments in a convenient, known, reliable place to vaccinate their children.”
Puerto Rico has some of the country’s strictest pandemic-related restrictions, and the curfew on alcohol sales was lifted in October.
COVID-19 is a disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, also known as SARS-CoV-2.