More than one in four American adults has gotten at least one COVID-19 shot. Two states, Alaska and Mississippi, are now allowing anyone over the age of 16 to get vaccinated. President Biden says he hopes all American adults will be allowed to get one by May first.
Meanwhile, health officials are now looking at vaccinating the younger generation. Moderna is now beginning a COVID-19 trial on children ages six months to 12 years old. If it’s successful, most children that age will be able to get a COVID vaccine in early 2022.
Trials on teenagers first began in December of last year. If they are successful, most adolescents will be able to get vaccinated by this coming fall.
Christian psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen told CBN News that expanding vaccinations to children and teens could clearly help in the long run.
“Over time, I think they could be very important because even though children aren’t getting dramatically sick they still can spread the virus and the more we get on top of this the sooner we’ll get away from a pandemic that has spawned a mental health pandemic that is devastating so many people,” he said.
Religious leaders from many faiths went public with their shots on Tuesday at Washington, D.C.’s National Cathedral in an effort to encourage the larger faith community to help end the pandemic as soon as possible.
“As a believer and a scientist,” said NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins, “I can see the opportunity to use the tools of science as a chance to be part of God’s plan for healing. The vaccines have in many ways for many people been an answer to prayer. They are safe and effective beyond what we had a right to expect. And yet they will not help people by sitting on the shelf.”
President Trump, who is now fully vaccinated, recommended on Tuesday for others to follow his lead.
“I would recommend it,” he told Fox News. “I would recommend it to a lot of people who don’t want to get it and a lot of those people voted for me frankly, but we have our freedoms and we have to live by that and I agree with that also, but it’s a great vaccine, it’s a safe vaccine and it’s something that works.”
Meanwhile, in Western Europe, the AstraZeneca vaccine is suspended in a handful of countries over the possibility that blood clotting in some recipients might be caused by the vaccine. However, some health officials there believe an investigation will show no link.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is not available in the United States. The only vaccines currently being given in the U.S. are made by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.
At the same time, health officials in Europe are pulling back on the AstraZeneca vaccine, that part of the world is experiencing a surge in cases that some blame on lifting lockdowns too soon.
“They simply took their eye off the ball,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, “I’m pleading with you for the sake of our nation’s health, these should be warning signs for all of us.”