Leading US expert says vaccinating children key to herd immunity

Dr. Anthony Fauci, leading US infectious disease expert, says that since a quarter of Americans are children, at least some must be vaccinated against covid-19 to achieve herd immunity. In Israel, children number more than one-third of the population. Drug manufacturers are beginning to focus on vaccine trials that include below 18s for the first time.

While children are less likely to suffer severe symptoms of coronavirus, they are known to contract and spread the disease asymptomatically. In Fauci’s view, the herd immunity threshold for covid-19 is between 70 percent and 85 percent of the population. The Health Ministry said Tuesday that more than one-third (3,105 million) of Israel’s 9.3 million population had received the first dose of the vaccine, while about 1.8 million people had been given both shots.

Fauci also urged everyone to get vaccinated – even if emerging strains are eluding the vaccines, because doing so will help stop the virus from mutating.

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