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COVID and Kids – What’s New?

Moderna announced it started a Phase II trial for it’s COVID-18 Vaccine in children ages 6 months to 12 years.

Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a statement the pediatric study will help assess the potential safety and immunogenicity of COVID-19 vaccine candidates in this important younger age population.

Kids seems to get COVID less frequently than adults, but they can still get COVID and die from it. About 170 children died in 2020 from COVID, which is similar in number to Flu deaths in the same population. Plus, they can suffer from a multi-system inflammatory disease that can be very devastating.

The Johnson and Johnson vaccine trials have just begun vaccine trials in the 12- to 16-year age group, so results of their one shot vaccine will not be available for a while.

Children are going back to school.

Nationwide, school children are returning to the classroom in a variety of different ways. Some plans are statewide, while other states are allowing decisions to be made at a more local level.

The CDC announced guidelines in February, and the CDC Director, Rochelle Walensky, MD said the available data shows in-person learning in schools has not been associated with substantial community transmission.

CDC Guidance, detailed here CDC Guidance, appears to be very comprehensive guidance for related to in-person learning. The guidance does not say that teachers need to be vaccinated for schools to be open, is based on a thorough review of current research and data.

From the CDC website, here are the Mitigation Strategies to reduce transmission of COVID in schools:

Regardless of the level of community transmission, it is critical that schools use and layer mitigation strategies. Five key mitigation strategies are essential to safe delivery of in-person instruction and help to mitigate COVID-19 transmission in schools:

Schools providing in-person instruction should prioritize two mitigation strategies:

  1. Universal and correct use of masks should be required, at all levels of community transmission.
  2. Physical distancing (at least 6 feet) should be maximized to the greatest extent possible. In hybrid instruction, scheduling should be planned to ensure physical distancing.

All mitigation strategies provide some level of protection, and layered strategies implemented concurrently provide the greatest level of protection. When planning for in-person instruction, schools should place particular emphasis on universal and correct masking and physical distancing as top priorities for implementation. These strategies have the greatest potential for reducing transmission and can also be monitored for consistent and correct implementation.

Schools should adopt the key mitigation strategies to the largest extent practical —a layered approach is essential. Additional information about each of the mitigation strategies and options for implementation of the strategies are provided, along with core principles for how schools may consider each of these strategies.

Read the CDC’s Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools Through Phased Mitigation here.

Ms. Jenn Landers | Patient Advocate Alliance LLC
Edited by Dr. Justin Groode