Las Vegas

Will children eventually need the COVID vaccine to attend school in Las Vegas?

Christopher DeVargas

A healthcare employee for the Southern Nevada Health Department attracts up a syringe with a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Monday Feb. 1, 2021.

Students should have a variety of vaccines — from measles to mumps to chickenpox — earlier than coming into school.

The new coronavirus vaccine isn’t amongst them, and it’s too early to predict if it ever can be, well being specialists stated.

“I don’t think we’re at a point of being able to comment on that. There’s still a lot we have to learn about the pandemic and COVID,” stated Heidi Parker, govt director of Immunize Nevada.

Brian Labus, an epidemiologist at UNLV and an skilled on illness surveillance, stated it has been years since a brand new vaccine has been added to the record of these required to enroll in Nevada colleges.

The final one was for chickenpox in the early 2000s, Labus stated. “We don’t change these things very often,” he stated.

The state Board of Health decides which vaccines are obligatory for school.

An quick obstacle to including the COVID vaccine is that the two vaccines now obtainable haven’t been absolutely authorised for children.

“We can’t make a vaccine mandatory if no kid can get it,” Labus stated.

The FDA has authorised the Pfizer vaccine for individuals 16 and older, and the drugmaker has began trials on children ages 12 to 15.

The Moderna vaccine, in the meantime, has solely been authorised for these 18 and older. It too is conducting checks on youthful individuals — ages 12 to 17.

On March 1, Clark County School District college students in pre-kindergarten by third grades will return to the classroom two days every week. Schools have been closed since mid-March due to the pandemic, with college students taking courses by way of computer.

Young children have a tendency to be extra immune to the virus and once they get sick, the signs are typically milder, Labus stated. They are also at a decrease threat of transmission, he stated.

“If we can’t open schools safely with the lowest risk group, there’s no way we could do it with the older group,” Labus stated.

A complete of 847 college students have examined optimistic for the virus as of Wednesday, in accordance to the School District.

Parker stated she was involved about dad and mom staying present on the present advisable vaccines for his or her children.

“We don’t want to see outbreaks of other diseases like measles while we’re still dealing with COVID,” she stated.

Last school year, about 95% of Nevada kindergartners have been vaccinated for measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis, chickenpox, hepatitis B and polio, in accordance to a census survey. About 3% have been exempted from vaccinations for non secular or medical causes.

Students should present their immunization information to enroll in a public or non-public school in Nevada.

Infants and toddlers have a CDC-recommended vaccination schedule for the first two years of their lives. If dad and mom stick to that schedule, their children can be up to date on the required school immunizations.

The CDC recommends infants be vaccinated for polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis A and B and chickenpox by the time they’re 2 years previous. The similar vaccinations are required to enroll in kindergarten. Booster doses are advisable at age 4.

At age 11, children have to be vaccinated for meningitis, tetanus, and diphtheria earlier than coming into school. The CDC additionally recommends HPV and flu vaccines.

Children aren’t required to be vaccinated until they’re going to school, although they’re at larger threat of getting some illnesses earlier than they attain kindergarten, Labus stated.

Most insurance coverage corporations cover the price of advisable vaccines. Children below an insurance coverage plan that doesn’t cover vaccines or children with out insurance coverage, can enroll in the Nevada Vaccines for Children Program to get vaccinated at no cost. Information about vaccine clinics may be discovered by clicking here.

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