The urgent need to immunize more young people – The Ukiah Daily Journal

There is a general feeling among the Californian population that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is over, that masking rules and vaccination passports are no longer necessary.

For anyone who believes this, a brief visit to the COVID-19 intensive care unit at any major hospital in the state would be instructive.

For every room or space available in most intensive care units, there is at least one occupant, with longer waiting times. Patients here are not just intubated for breathing by ventilators, but are also attached to tubes for excretions of various kinds.

“Almost everyone we see here has not been vaccinated,” said an intensive care nurse at UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Medical Center the other day. “Almost all will die, and it will be their fault. “

This nurse was not officially authorized to speak, and her words did not reflect an official scientific finding, but she did tell an unvarnished truth:

Right now, almost any adult who becomes seriously ill with Covid can look at themselves in a mirror (if there is one in their intensive care space) and see who is at fault.

Meanwhile, the average age of Covid victims continues to drop. Part of the reason is that elderly nursing home residents – once hit harder than any other group by the virus – were among the first to be vaccinated, then were on the first list for injections. reminder.

There’s also the fact that this plague, once considered primarily a disease of old age, has seen its number of cases rejuvenate over the past year. Part of the reason is that the approval for teens and children to get vaccinated came later than the approval from adults.

Which demonstrates how important vaccinations are and how distant are the many parents who keep telling pollsters that the vaccination requirements for school attendance are violations of their right to tell what drugs their children can. get.

It’s essentially the same cry that anti-vaccines have used for decades to resist the demands of conditioning school attendance on receipt of vaccines against diseases like rubella, pertussis and mumps.

Deaths from Covid now far exceed deaths from these other diseases, but the outcry over the Covid vaccine school mandates is stronger and more persistent than resistance to other inoculations.

Recent polls on this issue, which helped shape the November gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey, come from the firm Zogby Strategies, which frequently conducts polls on politics. A plurality of 48% of parents in Zogby’s new national survey say they should decide whether their children get vaccinated, while only 42% would leave that call to public health officials.

So parents, most of whom have little medical education, believe they know more than certified experts.

At the same time, complaints are cropping up around California that school vaccination mandates reinforce old patterns of racial inequality in education. A study of San Francisco Bay Area schools shows that the vaccination rate among black teens in public schools varies from county to county, from around 44% to 65%. Latino students in the area have a vaxx rate of around 68%. In contrast, white and Asian American adolescents in this region are now vaccinated at rates of 95% and 74% respectively.

This means that many more black and Latino students are barred from attending school in person than whites or Asian Americans. Despite a new law requiring schools to provide online education of a quality equal to what happens in classrooms, every study on this issue shows that in-person teaching is much more effective.

So, yes, long-standing educational inequalities are perpetuated. But who is at fault? If almost all white and Asian youth could have their arms stuck at least once in schools, pharmacies, or other places, what was stopping the other groups? Answer: Resistance to vaccination, which can be seen in the large differences in adult vaccination rates between the same groups.

Parents who are reluctant to get vaccinated are not as likely to get their children vaccinated as those who are vaccinated themselves.

So now is the time to stop blaming others for the inconvenience, injustices and mandates caused by the pandemic. Because in most cases, just like in intensive care units, the real perpetrator of these problems is in the mirror.

Email Thomas Elias at [email protected] His book, “The Burzynski Breakthrough: The Most Promising Cancer Treatment and the Government’s Campaign to Squelch It,” is now available in a fourth edition in softcover. For more articles on Elias, visit www.californiafocus.net

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