There are the usual back-to-school jitters and a renewed sense of uncertainty and change around the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic.
As we plan to send our country’s youngest citizens back to school safely, the highly transmissible Delta variant has made its unsettling debut. Young students are returning to school despite the increasing Delta epidemic, even without the COVID-19 vaccination. Many parents are also worried. They wonder when their children are going to get the critical shot.
Are The Delta Variants Worse for Kids?
It’s been said that children are not affected as severely as adults by COVID-19 since the outbreak began. Children are at very low risk of becoming seriously ill or needing hospitalization. As the highly contagious Delta mutation spreads, there is heightened anxiety. The mutation appears to be spreading faster in children than it did in the COVID-19 original strand, according to reports.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children made up 22.4% of reported weekly COVID-19 cases for the week. Week ending August 26th. AAP further noted that child cases were being investigated. “increased exponentially,” These levels were not reached since the winter surge in 2020-21.
Children with severe COVID-19 disease are rare. It can still feel like Russian roulette to concerned parents.
The vaccine for kids can’t come soon enough as the Delta sweeps across the country. The approval of vaccines for children is dependent on several factors.
Why Are COVID-19 Vaccines Taking So Long For Kids?
Anyone over 12 years old is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccination is also available to anyone who has not already received it. FDA approved Pfizer BioNTech vaccine was made available to people 16 and over on August 23. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is also available. Biden administration announced that adults who received their last booster shot more than eight months ago should be given a third shot.
Even though these landmarks have provided protection for the public from the spread of COVID-19 there are very few safeguards for children. What is the problem?
Safety remains a concern for children, despite the urgent need to provide COVID vaccines. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prompted this precautionary measure. Moderna and Pfizer to expand pediatric research. Extensive research can detect possible side effects. FDA is seeking serious side effects, such as myocarditis which is an inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis which is inflammation around your heart lining.
FDA requested both companies to include “3,000 children in the five to 11-year-old group.”This will take longer, but FDA believes it will raise the bar for understanding how the vaccine might affect children with rarer complications.
Some critics, including the President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, were not happy with the decision. Do not agree. A statement from the AAP said that increasing the participation in the vaccine does not slow down approval. While they wait for approval, this could lead to them coming in contact with the COVID-19 Delta virus.
AAP also noted that More than 340,000,000 doses have been administered to adolescents as well as adults they have not shown any adverse immunological or inflammatory effects. This supports their argument. The approval process will be slowed down by the longer safety monitoring for child COVID-19 vaccines.
Pediatric trials will continue despite opposition. The question remains, however, as to the time it will take to get children vaccinated. There is not a clear answer.
When will children receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
It is hard to calculate how much additional time is required for these trials. According to Saad OmerThe Yale Institute for Global Health Director, “The real limiting factor will be the amount of follow-up that the FDA wants from these new participants.”
For pediatric studies, the research period is extended and includes long-term follow-up research. This is to monitor the long-term adverse effects of COVID-19. The extended study will monitor all participants. Six months following each dose. This means an approval won’t be here until Feb. 2022 at the earliest.
However, an emergency use approval would be one option. This would be similar to what happened earlier in the year with the adult vaccines. It is not known if there will be an advance release of COVID-19 for children before FDA approval.
In the meantime, parents can help ensure their children’s safety by taking several proactive measures.
There are currently three vaccines that are available to the public. To slow the spread to children, it is important that everyone who can get the vaccine does so. COVID-19 can be slowed down by wearing masks and social distancing. Meanwhile, it’s important to remain vigilant while we await approval for the vaccine for young children.