However, we have data from wastewater. One of our Stanford engineers monitors Northern California for wastewater samples across different counties. Looks like we’re starting to see this virus in the Bay Area just before Christmas, so we’re kind of in our third week now.
This would put us in the middle of what the surge could be, based on what the South Africans saw. This is likely to be our worst week and things may really start to, hopefully, slow down after the next week or so.
We are seeing more children in the hospital. There are already places that send kids to big centers like Stanford. But part of that also has to do with the fact that there are not enough employees.
What we’re seeing among adults who get COVID is that the most dangerous cases are those who haven’t been vaccinated. Is this the same for children?
It’s hard to tell. We did not see the data as clearly stated. In general, if you look at the data for children across the country since the beginning of the epidemic, hospitalizations are almost always the highest in the 0-4 age group of children. And this, of course, is the age group that is not vaccinated.
It’s really hard to know the effect of the vaccine because this group doesn’t have access to the vaccine. But in general, what we generally see is that most, but not all, children who are hospitalized are not vaccinated, so it is really important that children get two full doses.
Do you think the 5-11 year old vaccination rate has anything to do with parents who are just wondering if it they Children are ready to Vaccines at this age?
I think there has been a lot of concern about whether children this age really need the vaccine, whether they will ever get sick, and whether they will really get sick.
From my perspective, as a pediatrician and father of three children (all adults now), we know that we vaccinate children against diseases that are less serious and diseases that cause fewer hospitalizations and deaths to prevent any risk of hospitalization and death.
I would encourage people to really consider vaccinating their 5- to 11-year-olds, because we really don’t know — for about half of the children who are hospitalized, they have no underlying risk factors. But the other half? It is really a guess. Thus, I do not want to put my child at risk.
If children under five have the highest hospitalization rates, when will we get a vaccine for that age group?
Here at Stanford, we are part of the international trials of the Pfizer vaccine for children. We do studies of children under the age of five and divided this group into 6 months to 23 months and then 2 to 4 years.
Most recently, Pfizer let everyone know that the data for children aged 6 to 23 months at a very low dose – one-tenth of the adult dose – worked well in terms of antibody responses, but unfortunately one-tenth of the dose did not work twice as well for children of 12 years. 2 to 4 years.
We’ll update our study with the two-dose trial and add a third dose for children under five to see if it boosts them.
As a parent, you need to think about COVID safety in schools. Do you think the risk is low enough to come back in person?
I’ve had this over the past few days because we’ve just seen this increase happen very quickly. This virus is highly contagious. I think kids can go back to school – if we’re careful.