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There is good news and there’s bad news

Kids can finally get vaccines, but now there's "Omicron" looming …
child vaccination
Delivery of pediatric vaccines is underway in Saskatchewan.

There have been two developments recently in the continuing and never-ending saga of the COVID-19 pandemic in a sort-of “good news-bad news” scenario.

In the good news column, for some parents at least, children can finally now be vaccinated between the ages of five and 11 years of age.

Some people will be angered by this, particularly those who dismiss the whole notion of vaccines altogether. There are also some parents who oppose vaccines of any kind for children, and some who have protested the requirement for children to wear masks in school.

Health professionals have stood by the efficacy of vaccines for children for years, and continue to stand by them for combatting COVID, with the sole purpose of protecting them and their families.

Many people have raised the question of whether to trust the health professionals or not throughout this pandemic, but there has to come a point where one weighs the evidence, and the credentials of people on either side of a debate. The issue of protecting young lives and families is also an over-arching issue that has to be considered.

There are some people who cannot be vaccinated, such as those with underlying medical conditions, and others like cancer patients whose systems are compromised and cannot accept a vaccine.

These vulnerable people need protecting too from those who have healthier immune systems and would not be impacted so much by a COVID infection. 

On the bad news side, a new variant called “Omicron” has emerged out of southern African countries, and is now being found in other countries. 

It seems that it is highly transmissible, but otherwise there is very little known about this variant.

Thus it is rather alarming to hear the rather drastic reactions of some leaders and some countries to this variant that are clearly based out of fear and not on much else.

There are reports that those who have had this Omicron variant have very mild symptoms. The simple fact is, medical professionals don’t know a whole lot about the variant, and there needs to be much more investigation done to find out if it something to be afraid of or not.

What is reassuring, at least so far, is that the vaccines that are available are in fact helping to quash the harsh effects of the emerging variants. Those who are not vaccinated have been hit hard by variants, particularly the Delta version, but it’s been hard to change minds for those who are dead set against getting the jab.

What it comes down to, once again, is people need to come to the realization we have to learn how to live with COVID, so that when new variants of the virus appear, they can be handled and not feared.