Pediatric COVID-19 cases in Michigan near record levels, causing doctors concern – Community News
Covid-19

Pediatric COVID-19 cases in Michigan near record levels, causing doctors concern

(WXYZ) — The FDA appears to be approaching approval of a COVID-19 booster for all adults. It comes amid the growing number of COVID-19 infections among children.

60 children have been hospitalized with the virus in Michigan, a 54% jump in just two weeks.

Pediatric vaccination coverage is also low: only 8% of children aged 5-11 receive one dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Sixty children in the hospital are not far from the state’s peak, which was recorded on April 20 with 70 children.

The concern is not only about children fighting the virus, but it is also about all the other complications that the virus can lead to.

“It’s impacted our schools. It’s impacted our sport for our kids, and we obviously want to do everything we can to protect our kids,” said Veronica McNally, a public health advocate at Michigan State University.

That includes meeting parents where they are when it comes to vaccinating their children.

Many of them have questions, so the Department of Health has convened a panel of doctors to give them answers.

“We’ve seen more patients with COVID in the hospital, especially children,” said Dr. Elizabeth Lloyd of Michigan Medicine.

She added that six children are being treated at Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor.

She has also seen many younger patients come in with multi-inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C, a complication of COVID-19.

“We’ve also seen children come in with multiple viruses. This doesn’t mean the vaccines don’t work,” Lloyd added.

According to the CDC, 94 children between the ages of 5 and 11 have died since the start of the pandemic.

Serious illness and death are uncommon in children, but it can happen, and the vaccine is the best line of defense, according to Lloyd.

“While that doesn’t sound like a high number compared to what we’ve seen in adults, 94 deaths in the age group 5 to 11 really make COVID-19 a top ten cause of death in that particular age group.” said Lloyd.

McNally joins Lloyd’s concerns and calls on parents to tap into a life-saving tool.

“This vaccine is safe and effective and this is now a vaccine-preventable disease. If you have questions, get answers, because unfortunately this disease has become an integral part of this disease,” she said.

Experts say lower childhood vaccination rates are one of the reasons the number of coronavirus infections is on the rise and the holiday season could make it worse.

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