Saturday, June 25, 2022

Children below 5 years of age are not eligible for covid vaccination. Here’s What Doctors Advice to Save Them During an Omicron Surge

Students in a 5-day pre-K class at Emmanuel Unite Church of Christ line up to go outside after helping them sort out donated foods.

Ben Hasty | MediaNews Group | Getty Images

Covid hospitalizations are increasing among children, and one age group is particularly vulnerable at this time: children under the age of 5.

Infants to 4-years-olds are the only age group in the US not eligible for vaccination, as the highly contagious Omicron type is spread through communities.

Dr. Rochelle Valensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said earlier this month that there is no indication that Omicron makes children sicker than previous variants. Unprecedented levels of transmission across the country, she said, are likely to result in hospitalizations.

As of January 8, about 7 out of every 100,000 children under the age of 5 were hospitalized with Covid, according to CDC data from 250 hospitals in 14 states, more than double that in December.

White House Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Wednesday that children are much less likely to develop serious illness from COVID than adults, but the risk is not zero.

Fauci said, “We have a lot of children, when you look at children’s hospitals across the country, who are seriously ill with COVID-19, who need to be hospitalized, some are even dying. Is.”

Dr Roberta DeBiasi said that most of the children admitted to Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC with Covid during the omicron wave were under the age of 5.

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“It’s the group that hasn’t been vaccinated, that is, those under the age of 5,” said DeBiasi, who runs the infectious diseases department at the hospital.

Dr. Andy Shen, chief of the infectious diseases division at Children’s Healthcare in Atlanta, said many parents sense a lack of control because the pandemic is accompanied by repeated waves of infection.

However, Shen said, parents should know they are not powerless in the face of the virus and take practical steps to protect their children. Although children under 5 years old can’t get the vaccines, parents can protect them by making sure every other eligible person in the family is fully vaccinated and according to doctors who spoke with CNBC. Get a booster shot accordingly. Everyone 12 years of age and older is currently eligible for a booster shot from Pfizer and BioNTech at least five months after their second dose.

According to a real-world study by the UK Health Security Agency, people who are vaccinated and raised have up to 75% protection against symptomatic infections caused by Omicron.

Dr. Alison Bartlett, an infectious disease specialist at Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago, said protecting infants and children from COVID is particularly challenging because there is so little equipment available to protect them. They are not eligible for the vaccine, the CDC strongly advises against wearing masks on children under the age of 2, and the FDA has not authorized over-the-counter COVID tests for them.

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“There have been three attacks against him in terms of preventing infection,” Bartlett said. However, parents can protect them by using a full range of mitigation measures that reduce the risk of family members catching the virus and spreading it to vulnerable people, she said.

“It’s just that everyone in the house and in contact with children under 5 is encouraged to wear their own masks and socially distance themselves and limit their activity outside the home and cocoon every second.” Too much is imperative to take risk-mitigation steps. Protect the child,” Bartlett said.

Shen said many parents are exhausted by the pandemic and want their children and families to have normal social interactions again.

“It’s so challenging with these booms that we have to step back every couple of months and not do the things we really want to do,” Shane said. “But we have to do this for a really short time, at least until we vaccinate and promote everyone.”

Fauci said the FDA could approve the vaccine for children under the age of 5 next month, though he said there is no guarantee that will happen. Younger children will likely need three doses, as the two shots did not produce an adequate immune response in children 2 to 4 years old in Pfizer’s clinical trials. Pfizer said it didn’t identify any safety concerns during its trials with doses for young children, which are 3 micrograms each much smaller than adults.

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Nation World News Desk
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