Vaccinating children is crucial to building the population’s immunity and curbing the spread of the coronavirus. Although children spread the virus less efficiently than adults, they make up about 23 percent of the population.
Experts have said the country is unlikely to reach the threshold for “herd immunity” – the point where virus transmission essentially stops – but vaccinating children will be important to get as close as possible.
Ty Dropic, 14, one of the subjects, urged others his age to get vaccinated so they could build widespread immunity and protect themselves. He had no side effects, which led him to suspect he was on the placebo. If that turns out to be the case, he plans to be vaccinated as soon as possible.
“I know it can be a bit scary, but it’s really not as bad as it seems,” he said. “When you get Covid, it’s a lot worse than being stuck with a needle for two seconds.”
Ty’s three siblings, ages 8, 10, and 16, are also participating in vaccine studies for their age group. Their mother, Dr. Amanda Dropic, a pediatrician in northern Kentucky, said most of the parents in her practice would like to get their children vaccinated so they could get back to normal.
“The anxiety and depression that we see in children, the social delays, have been enormous,” she said.
Dr. Dropic said her children understood the risks and were willing to volunteer because they saw it as a civic duty. Every drug available today was created because “someone was willing to go first,” she added.