“So many people, unvaccinated individuals, are getting Delta that children are getting swept up along with it, and I think this is going to make things very difficult as the school year opens,” Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine, stated Tuesday.
The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday additionally careworn the want to take the virus — and its risk to youngsters — critically.
“I think we fall into this flawed thinking of saying that only 400 of these 600,000 deaths from Covid-19 have been in children,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky stated in a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions listening to. “Children are not supposed to die. And so, 400 is a huge amount for respiratory season.”
Vaccine information for youngest doubtless still months away
It’s “very likely” information for Covid-19 vaccines in youngsters youthful than 12 could also be out there by late fall or early winter, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stated in the Tuesday Senate committee listening to.
“But doesn’t mean that then it’s all of a sudden going to be allowed to happen,” he stated. “That will be a regulatory decision that the FDA will have to make.”
Late final week, Fauci informed NCS’s Jim Acosta he believed a call from the US Food and Drug Administration “likely will not happen until we get well into the winter, towards the end of this year.”
Data for 2-to-5-year-olds might come quickly after, whereas for infants and toddlers — 6 months to 2 years — Pfizer stated it might probably get information in October or November and ask the FDA to authorize emergency use shortly after that.
Moderna beforehand declined to present a timeline to NCS on when it might have trial information outcomes for its child vaccine research.
Many eligible youngsters still not vaccinated
But well being specialists agree the extra youngsters who are vaccinated, the safer the return to faculty shall be.
“I think it’s critically important that our schools be open for full in-person learning in the fall,” Walensky stated at Tuesday’s listening to. And the “most important thing” Americans can do to assist, she stated, is get vaccinated.
“The best thing would be to have everybody vaccinated who can be vaccinated,” she added. “Surround unvaccinated children who are not yet eligible with people who are vaccinated to protect them.”
Having to determine which youngsters are vaccinated and who needs to be carrying masks “puts a lot of burden” on schools, one professional stated, and having masks mandates for everybody — particularly as the Delta variant circulates — could be simpler as college students return to faculty, one professional informed NCS on Tuesday.
“You’re going to have a lot of children less than 12 years of age who don’t even have the option of getting a vaccine,” Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, stated. “So I think children are at risk. I think if people have children that are 10 years old, 11 years old, they’re thinking, ‘there”s no vaccine, I think my child’s going to be at risk.'”
“If I was the parent of a child that age, I would want all those children to wear masks,” he added.
One official expects ‘vital’ outbreaks in schools
The state’s prime well being official stated Tuesday he expects to see “significant outbreaks within the school system.”
“What’s already telling me that that’s going to happen are the number of daycare closures that have occurred because of outbreaks occurring, and the camp exposures and closures that are occurring,” Dr. Jose Romero, secretary of well being of the Arkansas Health Department, stated in a US News and World Report occasion on vaccine inequity and misinformation. “What I’m trying to do publicly and privately with my own patients is stress the importance of the mask.”
The state has one main youngsters’s hospital that has already seen a “significant number” of kids with Covid-19, Romero stated, which, coupled with cases of different respiratory viruses, has stretched the facility’s sources.
“In three weeks when we start school, this will exacerbate, and that’s what I’m very, very concerned about,” Romero stated.
NCS’s Jen Christensen, John Bonifield, Sarah Braner, Virginia Langmaid and Madeline Holcombe contributed to this report.