Luckily, we rarely see these kinds of little tombstones any longer. Thanks to pediatric vaccination, one of the greatest public health successes of the 20th century, we have all but eliminated diphtheria — along with polio, measles, Haemophilus influenzae type b and more — from the United States.
This is why the development, testing and eventual distribution of a pediatric vaccine against Covid-19 — with the goal of preventing severe illness, long-term symptoms and deaths — was so welcomed by parents, physicians and public health professionals alike. Here was a chance to offer our kids a way back toward normal. And this illustrates why Florida’s guidance is so misguided.
All of these reasons are why I enthusiastically vaccinated my own children against Covid-19. (P.S. They’re both fine.) It’s also why countries across the world — including the UK, which was initially reluctant to vaccinate kids — are urging all children 5 or older to get their Covid-19 shots.
Here in the US, at a time when we are asking the public to take an increasingly individualistic role in the control of Covid-19, let’s not undermine these effective protections available to our children. We should celebrate, not denigrate, vaccines. Let’s let common sense, compassion and respect for the data prevail.