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As of this week, people ages 16 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in all U.S. states. But as adults and older teens reclaim a bit of normalcy, children could be left out.
That means parents are entering a weird limbo. “In their strange world, a dinner party with their adult friends is fine, but a birthday party for their 5-year-old could still spread the virus,” my colleague Sarah Zhang points out.
Our vaccine order is turning COVID-19 into a young person’s disease. This summer, while cases may drop this summer overall, Sarah reports, a disproportionate number of those still getting sick could end up being children.
Vaccinating kids is essential to reaching herd immunity. But some parents still misunderstand the risks the virus poses to them. “Kids are not like vaccinated adults. This is a myth that keeps coming up,” one professor and pediatric-infectious-disease specialist told our staff writer James Hamblin.
Further reading: How can schools help children catch up after this year’s learning loss? Summer programs can help, but they aren’t enough, our staff writer Adam Harris reports.