Papers, Please! Kids as Young as 5 Will Soon Need to Carry Proof They've Been Vaccinated
Any parent knows that life with small children is full of instances when certain objects get left behind.
Sippy cups, baby bottles, jackets, even shoes; someone is always forgetting something, and you often catch yourself having left the house without a favorite emotional support stuffed animal or the new toy your child was determined to show all their friends at the playground.
Yet can you imagine promising your littles a trip to the movie theater only to arrive and have to go home because you’ve forgotten their vital medical records?
This is the reality that San Francisco parents will soon be facing as the city plans to expand its already draconian proof-of-vaccination requirements to children as young as five now that a pediatric dose of the COVID-19 vaccination has begun to be administered in the Golden State.
Susan Philip, the city’s health officer, explained how the requirements will work during a town hall meeting on children’s vaccination Tuesday, Politico reported.
“We definitely want to wait and make sure children have an opportunity to get vaccinated, so that will happen no sooner than about eight weeks after the vaccine is available for kids,” Philip said, explaining that the city’s existing mandate for adults and children over 12 won’t apply to younger residents for at least two months.
The outlet notes that vaccination for patients between the ages of 5 and 11 began in California on Wednesday, the same day that a West Coast panel approved the smaller dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (which is one-third of that administered to adults and children over 12) for younger patients.
On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control recommended the children’s dose.
On Wednesday, the San Francisco Department of Public Health confirmed that its mandate on masking and vaccination requirements to enter certain businesses will be re-examined after enough time has been allowed for younger residents to receive the vaccine.
Currently, residents over the age of 12 must present proof of vaccination to enter certain public indoor spaces, such as eateries, entertainment venues and sporting areas and events.
It is troubling enough that San Francisco — which happens to be my hometown, although I now live in rural Middle America — is creating a second class of residents who cannot visit any of the city’s wide array of restaurants and other indoor venues.
If you’d told me when I was 12 that one day I’d need to show proof of vaccination to eat at favorite local eateries of my childhood, some of which have been patronized by three generations of my family, I’d have thought you were crazy.
Now children are to be included in this new two-tiered society?
Even among adults who have been vaccinated themselves, many are still showing hesitation to subject their youngsters to the vaccine, which must at least in part be due to the fact that children have consistently shown a dramatically lower risk of experiencing complications due to COVID-19.
How many parents are now going to feel pressured to overcome their hesitation so that they don’t have to try to explain to their children why they can longer go to the movies or out to eat?
And even then, they’ll have to make sure to include their vaccine cards along with all the other child care paraphernalia that naturally accompanies parenting.
Our country is becoming a “papers, please” society, and San Francisco is not only leading the way; it’s fully committed to ensuring that some of its youngest residents are subject to this brave new world as soon as possible.
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