MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations increase in Montgomery, pediatricians are warning of an accompanying rise in cases in children, many of whom are not yet eligible for the vaccine.
“We definitely see an increased number of positive tests in children with this new delta variant of COVD-19, and children seem to be getting even sicker,” said Dr. Adam Scott, a pediatrician with Professional Pediatrics at The Jackson Clinic.
Adam said The Jackson Clinic treats between 5 and 10 children a day with the virus. There is now concern that the number of cases will increase as schools resume classes.
“Looks like we’re seeing an uptick in business. It’s not as high as it was at the height of the pandemic, but we’re concerned about where it’s headed,” Scott said.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reported more than 121,000 cases among American children last week. That is more than 14 times the weekly number at the end of June.
Children’s cases accounted for 18% of the total in the US last week, up from 14.4% across the entire pandemic, AAP said.
Scott said, in line with the rest of the country, anywhere from one to two percent of children with COVID-19 end up in hospital.
“Fortunately, and very fortunately, death is very unlikely. They can get very sick, and I think it’s important to realize that not only can they get sick and be hospitalized, and those kids tend to get better, but they can have long-lasting symptoms those related to COVID-19 that can last for weeks, if not months,” Scott said.
Overall, Scott said hospitalization and death among children is unlikely.
Pediatricians strongly recommend that children be vaccinated and wear masks, especially in the classroom, to avoid getting sick and spreading the virus to others.
“To make it a safe transition back to school, make sure your children wear their masks and follow local regulations for wearing masks,” says Dr. Ulysses Davila, a pediatrician with Professional Pediatrics at The Jackson Clinic. .
“We know that vaccines work, they are extremely effective and very safe, including in children 12 years and older,” Scott said. “Be sure to talk to your pediatrician about vaccinating your child.”
Until those under 12 qualify for the vaccine, pediatricians say it’s up to us to protect them.
“There’s a kind of social responsibility to help protect those kids to protect them from getting sick, and part of the way you do that is if you can get vaccinated to get vaccinated,” Davila said.
Both Moderna and Pfizer launched trials of their COVID-19 vaccines for children under 12 in March. The results of those trials are expected in the fall.
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