COVID-19 Update for Children: Expert Evaluates Rising Cases, Vaccine Updates and Preparing for Future Travel

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COVID-19 Update for Children: Expert Evaluates Rising Cases, Vaccine Updates and Preparing for Future Travel

Now over 2 years of continuing the fight with Covid-19, there is still new information, surges, and variants that are always to come. According to American Academy of Pediatrics, on May 19, 2022, “nearly 13.3 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic according to available state reports; more than 316,000 of these cases have been added in the last 4 weeks ”.

We sat down with Dr. Rebekah Diamond, Hospital Pediatrician in New York City and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Columbia University, to evaluate all updates about the virus and how parents should be prepared as they prepare for a busy future travel. weather.

Covid cases in recent weeks have continued to rise, especially in young children. What factors might be playing into this spike?

Because we have done nothing to suppress covid. The best way to think about it is that we don’t have a Covid problem. We have recurring spikes because we have new variants emerging and we don’t have global vaccine participation or the prevention measures we need.

It mutates quickly and it has a vaccine escape and we also don’t get the vaccine very well so the mask mandates completely go away and the air becomes completely unregulated more and everyone lives without ‘ y restrained life for many. Yes, it’s no surprise that cases come back.

What are parents most concerned about when it comes to their children being potentially exposed/hurt by covid?

I think there are a few ways to think about it. One is that it’s really hard to balance it out. Two years have passed and the youngest children are still not vaccinated, which is all the more frustrating and frustrating for parents. So we were no longer at the point, including myself, to tell the parents that we could still remain completely locked up.

Exposure is inevitable for most, even if you are still wearing a mask and if you want to do any activities, exposure is more or less inevitable. I think the concerns of parents are the same, there is only the emotional side of how we spend a lot of time sacrificing activities and doing our best to wait until our children are vaccinated and that is not supported by society. .

They don’t prioritize getting children vaccinated, they also don’t prioritize getting children back to normal life and there are some minor difficulties in the process. So I think there’s that big element of things.

Covid is new, we still learn about it every day, but we know it’s a serious virus. We know that children can get sick and even die, much more rarely than the elderly and adults but possibly, especially severe illness. It also has long term effects, long term Covid occurs in children, MISC (Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children) is a condition that occurs in children so I think there are some real health concerns.

It also has this idea of ​​how we balance trying to have a class normal in a society that never prioritizes that for children, but also doesn’t create a different standard of Covid protection.

Pfizer recently released a statement saying they have found 3 doses of the vaccine to result in a strong resistance response in children aged 6 months to 5 years. What were some of your first thoughts about this statement?

I think it’s great! Obviously we still need to see the full data for Pfizer and Moderna. I think we’ve had a lot of promising data for a long time now and so I’m a fan of getting that information submitted and reviewed as urgently as possible, but the fact of the matter is we know that vaccines for adults and children over five years of age are good.

Nothing is 100 percent effective but they can help prevent infection and they are very good at preventing serious illness and long-term side effects as well.

What would you say to parents who are nervous about vaccinating their young children?

I talk to parents about it when I do things on social media online and I also talk about almost daily work with patients and parents who may be hesitant.

The first thing to say, and I always say it, is that it makes sense. There’s a lot of information out there- a lot of it just misinformation or some of it deliberately misinformation trying to scare you about vaccines, and it’s new.

So anxiety is perfectly ok and it makes sense but the reality is that there is no doubt in any well-known, scientific person who is a pediatric expert and really cares about protecting the health of children, no ‘ y doubt we think that these vaccines are necessary and that they are completely safe and that they will be affected in the ways they should be.

The truth is Covid is here, Covid exposure is completely inevitable. You don’t decide if I should give this child a vaccine or I don’t, you decide if my child was exposed to Covid with vaccine protection or if they were exposed to Covid without vaccine protection.

My other advice if you still have doubts, ok if you have any) is to really find reputable sources, people who are not affected by misinformation and/or anti-science agenda, talk to your pediatrician, follow reputable accounts and ask all your questions. We were happy to go through any worries but for me it was one of the quickest decisions I had to make as a parent.

Also on the rise are cases and Philadelphia is deciding whether or not to reinstate the school’s mask orders. Do you think other states will follow even as the school year is nearing its end?

I think it’s hard to say. Unfortunately science has become mixed with partisan politics and it is challenging to know the difference that occurs at the city, county and state level and then at the federal level.

It’s turned out to be a hopeless politician so I think it’s hard to say what will happen at the end of the day. You can continue to urge your state and your local board to follow common sense science policies and after all, you need to know that you are doing everything you can as a parent to make the most of it. options possible, to balance the risks. to do something and the risks of not doing something and that the best thing you can do to protect your children is when they deserve to be vaccinated so they can be vaccinated. That really gives a lot of protection to their body that if Covid exposure happens that’s an amazing thing you can do to protect them.

With summer approaching and families getting ready to travel, what are some tips for families to keep their children safe?

Vaccines, vaccines, vaccines. If you qualify for a booster get your booster, if you qualify to start your series definitely go ahead and do that. The masks that are optional for me don’t have to be the very phrase of that.

I find that when I see masks that are optional, especially now that there are recommended masks, they clearly say they don’t need them but if you’re in an area that’s on the inside and there’s enough reason with a hint of. masking that because there is enough of a crowd and enough of a transmission risk. And the truth is that especially now with the rise of cases, there is a reasonable possibility of exposure to Covid no matter what kind of travel you do.

I would say that getting a mask that is suitable and comfortable for you and your children when they are old enough to wear a mask, higher quality masks like KF-94 and N95, KN95 are better. If you make summer activities that can be done outdoors versus indoors that’s fine too.

If you’re traveling with people or doing things and people are reluctant to get vaccinated or don’t take precautions that make you comfortable, don’t hesitate to set any limits you need as a parent. People know we need to do what we can to protect children from being vaccinated.

Dr. Rebekah Diamond is a New York City hospital pediatrician and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University. He is the author of the upcoming book “Parent Like a Pediatrician.” Follow him on Instagram @parentlikeapediatrician

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