Keeping Our Young Ones Safe

Written by: Gary Burris, Executive Director

Children will be returning to school soon. Most are going to be attending school in-person and won’t have the protection of a remote learning situation. As of August 26, 2021, 18.3% of Covid-19 cases are among those birth to 19. In both child care settings and K-12 schools our children are at risk. Younger children are at higher risk of getting COVID, as the vaccines aren’t yet available for children under 12.

That’s why the mandate that all the adults in both child care and K-12 schools get vaccinated makes so much sense. Recently, Washington State established one of the strictest COVID-19 requirements for K-12 as well as child care teachers and other staff. Getting vaccinated protects our youth as well as our most vulnerable friends, neighbors, and family.

If the kids can do it, so can the adults! Keep in mind that for a child to enter child care they must have vaccinations for Hepatitis B, DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis), Hib (Haemophilus Influenzae Type B), Polio, PCV (Pneumococcal Conjugate), MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella), and Varicella (Chickenpox). Children entering K-12 have additional requirements. Vaccines have been a regularly accepted procedure for keeping all our children and the adults in the community safe from debilitating and deadly diseases.

We have a moral imperative to keep our society safe. We can very easily dramatically decrease the risks for ourselves and others by getting vaccinated. This is true for educators and for everybody else. It’s crystal clear that the massive surge in hospitalizations is among those who are not vaccinated. Hospitals are having to turn away other patients because they don’t have any available beds. Please do your part. If you haven’t done it yet, get the vaccine! Lives depend on it.