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The youngest children may prove to be the hardest to vaccinate.
More than 18 million of the youngest children in the United States can finally get Covid-19 vaccines, closing one of the largest remaining gaps in eligibility.
"The United States is now the first country in the world to offer safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines for children as young as 6 months old," said President Joe Biden this week at a vaccine clinic in Washington, DC.
Children as young as 6 months old have two choices: a three-dose sequence from Pfizer/BioNTech or a two-dose regimen from Moderna. But how many kids will actually get the shots?
That's a critical question for how the pandemic will play out over the next few months in the US. If infants and toddlers get vaccinated at the same rates as their older siblings, Covid-19 patterns may not change much, and most of the youngest children will remain at risk of illness.
Covid-19 vaccines remain one of the most powerful tools for containing the virus, but large and persistent divides in vaccination have emerged, which means the virus can continue spreading, mutating, and wreaking havoc.
Across the US, more than 78 percent of the population has received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. However, divided by age groups, there's a clear downward trend. More than 95 percent of adults over the age of 75 have received at least one dose as of June 15, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For people ages 40 to 49, the rate is 86.8 percent. For 12 to 17-year-olds, 69.7 percent. And for kids ages 5 to 11, 36.2 percent.
"The larger trust issue has been ongoing for decades," Herschel Nachlis, an assistant research professor of government at Dartmouth College said.
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