As Israel Preps to Vaccinate Kids Against COVID-19, Some Say They Will Be Against 'Coercion'

© REUTERS / AMIR COHENA medical worker prepares to administer a vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a temporary Clalit Healthcare Maintenance Organization (HMO) centre, at a sports hall in Netivot, Israel February 4, 2021
A medical worker prepares to administer a vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a temporary Clalit Healthcare Maintenance Organization (HMO) centre, at a sports hall in Netivot, Israel February 4, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.10.2021
According to reports, the Jewish state will be offering a Pfizer vaccine to children below 12 starting in December. But a recent study showed that only 23 percent of the public will be willing to take that step.
The US Food and Drug Administration said Friday that the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine for children under 12 was safe for use.
Although the agency flagged the risk of heart inflammation conditions associated with the inoculation, it said that overall, the benefits of the jab would outweigh the potential complications caused by the vaccine.
Pfizer also said that its vaccine for children below 12 was 91 percent effective.
In Israel, where nearly four million out of its 9 million people have already been vaccinated with three shots of Pfizer, authorities have already started eyeing the option of offering jabs for younger kids. Those are reportedly to become available from December.

Not for My Kids

The government is also mulling the option of making the experts' discussions on kids' vaccination open to the general public, but for Masha Yaron, a resident of the north and a mother of two, this is hardly enough.
Yaron, who buckled under pressure and vaccinated herself for the first time only two months ago, says she will not rush to inoculate her two children. And the reason for this is that she believes that the younger generation is not at risk.

"Even if they do catch the virus, the disease is normally light, and kids with normal immune system are not expected to develop harsh symptoms."

However, there is yet another reason that keeps Yaron from vaccinating her kids -- the fear of possible side effects and the complications that may follow.
Even though there is not enough research to support those fears, social media networks abound in claims of possible health complications that include heart disorders and infertility problems.

"In general, I am not against vaccines. But the side effects of this inoculation, especially the long-term ones, are simply unknown. And I am not prepared to put my kids through this trial."

Yaron's views are not rare in Israel, where demonstrations against the inoculation continue to take place. But recent research conducted by Bar-Ilan University showed that 57 percent of Israelis who participated in the study were willing to vaccinate their kids. 27 percent of those even said that they would be rushing to do so, as soon as the jab was made available to the general public. Only 23 percent said they would refrain from inoculation their children.

Vaccines as a Means of Pressure?

The catch is that those, who object the idea of vaccinating their youngsters, might not really have a choice.
Soon after Israel's government decided to offer a third jab to the general public, it also started to implement a number of measures that aimed at pushing the masses to get the jab. Those who abstained were warned that they would not be allowed to enter public places or government officers. They will also have travel restrictions and would need to quarantine themselves should they leave the country.
Now, as the inoculation for kids is drawing closer, that same policy might repeat itself, and the general fear is that those children who will not be vaccinated, will not have access to schools and will be forced to study at home.
"If these measures take place, they won't be justified. The government should come up with a better solution than wage pro-vaccination propaganda or delegitimise those, who are not willing to take the jab," said Yaron.
"These vaccines have become a political tool, and as long as it depends on me, I will not be vaccinating my kids. Neither will I accept any coercion."
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