Protecting the unvaccinated from delta


Zoe Horner

A notice that masks are required at a New England middle school.

The COVID-19 virus is becoming increasingly threatening to young children and people over 50 years old. And with the new strains of the virus spreading across the globe, we have seen the emergence of the Delta variant; a highly contagious variation of Covid that originated in Great Britain, South Africa, and Brazil. Children under the age of 12 still have no approved vaccine, and as a result, are becoming infected at a higher frequency.

Children under the age of 12 are being hospitalized by the virus at alarming rates, CDC studies show that the majority of these cases are due to the Delta Variant.  

How can we protect unvaccinated children? Skylar McNall, a freshman here at the regional, says “The unvaccinated kids should definitely be tested for covid every week, wear masks, and wipe down shared surfaces, as to keep each other as safe as possible.”

With concern about the continuation of masks in schools, we encounter a new dilemma. How will middle school students be affected if the high school goes mask-free? 

Skylar also says “I think the middle schoolers would be at a higher risk of infection due to the fact that they share a building with the high school, and the majority of them are unable to be vaccinated.”

There is still no vaccine approved for children 5 to 12 years old, and they are stuck in the same situation we were all in 2020, rather than how in 2021, we are able to be vaccinated and achieve herd immunity, but any children younger than 12 don’t have access to this protection. 

The Delta variant is 2 times more transmissible than the original strain of covid and has been able to mutate and infect the vaccinated individuals.  Symptoms may be less intense as a result of the vaccine, but a vaccinated person can still be contagious. The other Covid-19 variants, such as alpha, are not as highly transmissible or dangerous as the Delta variant.