Parents of Peachtree Park Pediatrics,
We continually strive to provide you with the most up to date information on the COVID-19 pandemic. Read on for pandemic-related updates and resources.
Update on Vaccine Approval for Children Under 5
“Parents of children under 5 will have to wait until at least April to get their kids vaccinated against COVID-19, after the FDA and Pfizer delayed plans to get the shots authorized on a fast-track basis.”
“The FDA had originally planned to authorize the first two doses of what will ultimately be a three-dose vaccine as soon as this month. However, Dr. Peter Marks, head of the FDA’s vaccine division, said updated data submitted by Pfizer did not support the plan to get the first two doses out early.
‘The data that we saw made us realize that we needed to see data from a third dose in the ongoing trial in order to make a determination that we could proceed with doing an authorization,’ said Marks.
‘Our approach has always been to conduct a regulatory review that’s responsive to the urgent public health needs created by the pandemic, while adhering to our rigorous standards for safety and effectiveness,’ said acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock.”
PPP will continue to monitor developments regarding vaccination of younger children and will inform parents when the COVID vaccine is approved and available.
COVID Booster Effectiveness Wanes But Remains Strong
“An early look at the performance of COVID-19 booster shots during the recent omicron wave in the U.S. hinted at a decline in effectiveness, though the shots still offered strong protection against severe illness.”
“Researchers also found that during the time that the omicron variant has been predominant, vaccine effectiveness against outpatient visits was 87% in people who had gotten a booster two months earlier, but to 66% at four months after. Vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization fell from 91% at two months to 78% by the fourth month.
Effectiveness after a booster was higher last year, when the delta variant was causing most U.S. cases, the study noted.”
PPP recommends that everyone stay “up to date” on their COVID vaccination, receiving all doses for which they are eligible.
Did Pandemic Lockdowns Harm Children’s Language Development?
“The pandemic has dramatically disrupted kids’ normal routines, but a new study suggests the initial lockdowns of 2020 did not necessarily hinder preschoolers’ language development.”
“In fact, researchers found, there was an unanticipated ‘lockdown boost’ in youngsters’ vocabulary growth — possibly because parents were spending more time at home.
Studying families in 13 countries, the researchers found that, on average, babies and toddlers made greater gains in vocabulary during that early lockdown period, versus the pre-pandemic norm for youngsters their age.”
Exercise May Improve Vaccine Response
“Taking a long, brisk walk, jog or bike ride after your next COVID or Flu vaccine might amplify the benefits of the shot, according to a new study.”
“It found that people who exercised for 90 minutes right after their shot subsequently produced more antibodies than people who did not. The extra immune boost, which should help reduce their risk of falling seriously ill from those diseases, did not seem to trigger an increase in side effects.”
Risk of COVID and Benefits of Vaccine for Expectant Mothers
Studies continue to show the benefits of getting vaccinated against COVID during pregnancy and the risks of COVID illness to pregnant women.
A recent study showed that “babies whose moms were vaccinated during pregnancy against COVID-19 have long-lasting antibody protection.”
The study “compared babies born to women who had received two doses of an mRNA vaccine with those born to unvaccinated mothers who were infected with COVID-19 at 20 to 32 weeks of pregnancy. That’s the period when the transfer of antibodies from mother to fetus is at its highest.
- At delivery, antibody levels were higher in vaccinated mothers and their umbilical cord blood than in the unvaccinated, infected mothers.
- At two months of age, 48 of 49 infants (98%) born to vaccinated moms had detectable levels of the protective Immunoglobulin G (IgG), the most common antibody found in blood.
- At six months of age, 16 of 28 infants (57%) born to vaccinated mothers still had detectable IgG levels, compared with one of 12 (8%) born to unvaccinated infected mothers.”
USA Today reports that “during the pandemic, several studies have shown unvaccinated pregnant people are at a higher risk for delivering stillborn babies when infected with COVID-19. Researchers concluded that COVID-19 infection destroyed the placenta, depriving the fetus of oxygen.”
“’Our study identified placental insufficiency as the root cause for stillbirths in women with COVID-19 during pregnancy,’ said Dr. David Schwartz, an Atlanta-based pathologist who led the study. ‘Among the 68 cases, an average of 77% of the placenta had been destroyed and rendered useless for supporting critical fetal needs, resulting in stillbirth or early neonatal death.’”
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.