Parents of Peachtree Park Pediatrics,
We continually strive to provide you with most up to date information on the COVID-19 pandemic. Read on for more on the COVID-19 vaccines, gift giving during the pandemic, the effects of social distancing on child development, and more.
- The FDA has granted Emergency Use Authorization to the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19 and the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to recommend that the vaccine be given to people 16 and older. The first shipments of vaccine are arriving this week and are being given to medical personnel and residents of nursing care facilities.
- Moderna has begun a trial of its COVID-19 vaccine in children 12-18 years of age. The study will involve 3000 adolescents and hopes to generate data in the Spring of 2021 which would lead to approval for the vaccine’s use prior to the start of school in the Fall.
- A study of another vaccine in Australia showed that it did not produce a good enough immune response in participants older than 50. A new study has started with a more concentrated antigen.
- A recent Washington Post article reviewed anticipated side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, stating:
“In roughly half the people who get the shot, it can produce modest side effects, including fever, headache, fatigue and pain at the injection site. That’s typical for most vaccines. This is not a flaw or a failure, vaccine experts hasten to point out. Side effects are a sign the immune system is kicking into gear, as intended. They’re a feature and not a bug, to borrow the language of computer programmers. Side effects were roughly the same in trial volunteers who got the vaccine and those who got a saltwater placebo.”
- Data from early studies indicate that within 10 days of the first dose there may be enough antibodies to prevent infection. 95% of people will have protective antibodies 1-2 weeks after the 2nd
- The CDC advised that the COVID-19 vaccine should not be given within 14 days of any other vaccine.
Very Mild Flu Season So Far
UPI recently reported that current U.S. Influenza levels are far lower than in previous seasons, stating,
“The combination of distancing and masking is having an impact on all respiratory viruses, not just [COVID-19],” said a Pediatric Infectious Diseases specialist. “There are differences between the transmission of influenza and [COVID-19, but a lot of the behaviors we are being asked to observe are effective against both airborne and droplet transmission.”
Guidance on Retesting for COVID-19
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta released updated guidelines for retesting once someone has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Once a diagnosis of COVID-19 has been made, further test results would not change the recommendation for at least 10 days of isolation from symptom onset.
Holiday Gift Giving During the Pandemic
A recent article from Yale Medicine offers useful advice for choosing gifts this holiday season.
- If you’re the type to be practical and like to get people something they need, which pre-COVID meant new pajamas, ice scrapers, or appliances, this is the year for toilet paper, soap—or even a ‘touchless’ hand soap dispenser, Purell, Clorox wipes, or cloth face masks.
- If you’re the type to indulge people with something they love, which pre-COVID meant jewelry, nights out, or sentimental photos, this is the year to help your loved ones comfortably quarantine. Consider gift cards for online shopping, new headphones for binging on Netflix, nail polish for at-home manicures, or sweatpants
- Retail stores remain relatively safe for in-person shopping when local regulations are in place, especially if they actually enforce those rules. If you do go out, plan to shop at times when stores will be less trafficked, wear your mask, keep your distance from other shoppers, and practice good hand hygiene after leaving the store.
- Consider ordering ahead or picking up your items curbside so you can minimize your time indoors. This is not the year to spend hours leisurely strolling the aisles. If you’re wary of in-person shopping, consider shopping online and kill two birds with one stone by having your gift delivered directly to your loved one.
- Ideas to enjoy the outdoors include a telescope to observe the stars, a fishing rod, hiking boots, herb gardens, mushroom kits, bird feeders, long underwear for the family, and hats to bundle up in on cold days.
Is Child Development Impacted by Social Distancing?
The New York Times presents a balanced view on the concerns raised about young children interacting only with their parents due to social distancing.
“It is too early for published research about the effects of the pandemic lockdowns on very young children, but childhood development specialists say that most children will likely be OK because their most important relationships at this age are with parents.
Still, a growing number of studies highlight the value of social interaction to brain development. Research shows that neural networks influencing language development and broader cognitive ability are built through verbal and physical give-and-take — from the sharing of a ball to exchanges of sounds and simple phrases.
Technology presents both opportunity and risk during the pandemic. On one hand, it allows children to engage in virtual play by Zoom or FaceTime with grandparents, family friends or other children. But it can also distract parents who are constantly checking their phones to the point that the device interrupts the immediacy and effectiveness of conversational duet — a concept known as ‘technoference.’”
As parents you will balance keeping your child safe with providing the stimulation and experiences that help them grow socially and intellectually.
We encourage everyone to continue to use good hand hygiene and practice social distancing as much as possible. Please contact our office with any further questions or concerns.
Peachtree Park Pediatrics
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Peachtree Park Pediatrics strives to deliver up-to-date primary care to our infant, child, and young adult patients in a welcoming and family-friendly environment. The practice has deep roots in the Atlanta community, and it is our continued honor to be entrusted with the health care of our next generation.