COVID-19 vaccines for young children expected by the end of the year | Chicago News
More children are testing positive for COVID-19 as the highly infectious delta variant continues to spread rapidly across the country.
Of particular concern is the increase in positive tests among children aged 5 to 11, as this group is still too young to be vaccinated.
The most recent figures from the Illinois Department of Public Health show that some 660 Cook County children aged 5 to 11 tested positive for covid-19 for the week ending August 21. The numbers have been rising steadily since the end of June, when only 29 children in that age group returned a positive test.
“During most of the pandemic, we’ve seen rates (for children) mimic what happens in adults,” said Dr. Taylor Heald-Sargent, pediatrician and infectious disease expert at Lurie Children’s Hospital. . “As the number of adults with HIV has increased, the number of children with HIV has also increased. In the adult population, many of them can be vaccinated, but not in children, so the rates continue to increase.
Dr Tina Tan, professor of pediatrics and infectious diseases at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, says the vast majority of COVID-19 cases in the United States are now caused by the delta variant.
“The delta variant represents over 93% of the amount of COVID observed in the community. So the vast majority of cases (in children) will be caused by the delta variant, ”said Dr Tan, who is also affiliated with Lurie Children’s Hospital. She said that while the delta variant was not necessarily more dangerous, it was “definitely more heritable”.
“And because of its high transmissibility, we know that people susceptible to COVID because they cannot be vaccinated will be more likely to get it,” Dr. Tan said.
Fortunately, most children continue to experience only mild symptoms of the virus, similar to those one would expect from a cold or allergies. But there are a small number of children who may have more severe symptoms.
“When they start having problems with water retention or breathing, that’s when they need to be hospitalized,” said Dr. Heald-Sargent.
Leading national infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday that mandating vaccines for children at school was “a good idea.”
“It’s not something new. We have mandates in many places in schools, especially public schools, ”said Dr Fauci. “We have been doing this for decades and decades. “
And recent reports suggest the Food and Drug Administration may soon approve vaccines for use in young children.
“Currently, trials are underway to test the vaccines on people under the age of 12,” Dr Tan said. “It is expected that the data from these trials will be available by mid-fall and if all goes well, an EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) for the use of the vaccine in these children should be available.” by the end of the year. “
And when that happens, Dr Heald-Sargent urged all parents to get their children immunized as soon as possible.
“Do it. Please go out and get your children immunized,” said Dr. Heald-Sargent. “I know not all vaccines should be taken lightly, but that’s why we’ve invested so much time and of energy as the medical community to test them. We haven’t skipped any steps. We are making sure they are as safe as possible and I can’t wait to get my children vaccinated.
Note: This story will be updated with a video.