Medical leaders push for childhood vaccines and boosters to prevent hospitalizations – NBC Connecticut
With COVID-19-related hospitalizations on the rise, the public health department and state health systems want to protect children as old and new variants spread.
DPH’s message is to get your child immunized to prevent severe cases of COVID-19. The agency told NBC Connecticut it is targeting parents who take a wait-and-see approach with their children.
“We are starting to see if you are infected, there is a small proportion of children who are hospitalized,” said the commissioner of CT DPH, Dr Manisha Juthani. “Even though the death or complication rates are low, we don’t really want that for any of our children.”
Hospitalizations are the start, the other concern is the potential long-term effects COVID-19 can have on children.
Juthani also mentions that it is important to protect children as there could be a wide net of repercussions if they are infected with COVID-19.
âBy catching COVID and being kept out of school and from friends, it becomes really difficult for the kids,â Juthani said. âBeing out with COVID, even if it’s mild, it can have huge impacts.â
Even though state hospitalizations among children remain low, according to DPH, some parents want to continue using protective measures in addition to having their children immunized.
“I tell them, it’s very important to wear the mask, to wash their hands every time they go out,” said Maria Velazquez, who has two daughters. “It’s good for you, it’s going to help you so I have to follow what the experts tell us to do to protect ourselves.”
DPH notes that vaccines and booster shots are the best protection now that the omicron variant is here and could potentially be more infectious.
âI won’t be at all surprised if in a week or two it’s about 50% of what is circulating and in a month it could be the predominant strain overall,â Juthani said.
Hartford HealthCare’s chief epidemiologist Dr Ulysses Wu also stresses the importance of booster shots.
âIf you or your kid is eligible, they should definitely be boosted,â Wu said. âThe boosters are going to be very necessary but we shouldn’t be doing it because of omicron, we should be doing it because delta is doing a certain amount. number on us right now. ”
Here is an overview of the number of children considered to be fully vaccinated, according to DPH: 5-11 years – 48,554, 12-15 years – 115,460, 16-17 years – 68,577.
The key point to remember about the booster according to the CDC is that 16-17 year olds are eligible to receive the Pfizer booster if it has been at least six months since they received their second vaccine. At least 759 young people aged 16 to 17 in Connecticut have received their booster shots.
Medical officials tell NBC Connecticut that in addition to protecting children, adults should also get vaccinated and boosted and avoid putting themselves in risky situations that could lead to infection.