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Multiple vaccines for COVID-19 have given Americans and people around the world much freedom. At the same time, many people have resisted taking them, and most have that right. Meanwhile, countless people have had COVID and recovered, although some have had serious illness and many have died.

For children, the chance of serious illness has been determined to be much lower. Yet that chance still exists for some kids, and parents have been concerned as schools have gotten back closer to normal. However, vaccines have been administered to those 12 and above, and soon the age may be lower.

Pfizer Inc. this week announced results of a study that said a smaller dosage of its vaccine had been found safe for children ages 5 to 11, while a strong immune response was found. That means government approval for emergency use in the United States and elsewhere could come as early as the end of the month.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 43% of 12- to 17-years-olds in the United States have been fully vaccinated, and 54% have had one dose. Similar approval for younger kids is expected for the Moderna vaccine, which has been more widely used for adults in Pinal County. And research also is being done about use by children younger than 5.

Vaccination of many children will take a while, and some never will receive it. However, it will be one more step in gaining independence from the danger and burden of COVID-19. The world is getting closer to normal, or at least a new normal. This process will be ongoing for a long time, perhaps indefinitely. But the role of medical science in that process is significant. The work of scientists, the private companies involved and the government help they have received cannot be overemphasized.

— Donovan Kramer Jr.

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