As we approach that pivotal June 15 meeting, it is worth examining our prior vaccination efforts to identify the steps and mindset shifts necessary to do better. As a pediatrician who has personally vaccinated hundreds of children and as a former health department commissioner who oversaw many large-scale vaccination programs, I have five principles that must guide the next phase of the US Covid response.
The pandemic is not over
Lower risk does not mean no risk
Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good
No one should have to choose between vaccinating children and receiving a paycheck
Parents are seeking vaccination information from trusted sources
Children ultimately depend on adults for any vaccination protection they receive. For older children already eligible for primary vaccination and boosters, parents should prioritize vaccination now. And, if safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines are authorized for our youngest children, I hope that parents will prioritize this protection for them and that our policies make it possible for them to do so. By following these principles, every family can make the right call about Covid-19 vaccines.