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 the latest vaccine updates, mask-wearing recommendations, staying safe at summer camp, and more.
Protecting Newborns and Infants
Newborns and infants are most likely to catch respiratory illnesses from their parents or other close household contact. For years Pediatricians have advocated providing a protective cocoon around young children by immunizing their parents and other family members against Pertussis and Influenza.
The same principle applies to COVID-19: if family members don’t bring the virus into the house, newborns and infants have a much lower risk of getting sick. For this reason, the CDC, AAP and ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) recommend that pregnant and breastfeeding women be offered the COVID-19 the same as other women.
The physicians of PPP recommend the COVID-19 vaccine for all our patients’ parents, especially expectant mothers/fathers and those with newborns and infants at home. We can provide the vaccine at our office to parents and other adult family members (and children 12 and older).
Pandemic Led to Big Drop in Life Expectancy
NPR reports that a “new study estimates that life expectancy in the U.S. decreased by nearly two years between 2018 and 2020, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“In 2018, average life expectancy in the U.S. was about 79 years (78.7). It declined to about 77 years (76.9) by the end of 2020,” the largest drop since World War II.
More Evidence of Long-lasting Immunity from Vaccination
“The results suggest that a vast majority of vaccinated people will be protected over the long term — at least, against the existing variants. But older adults, people with weak immune systems and those who take drugs that suppress immunity may need boosters; people who survived Covid-19 and were later immunized may never need them at all.”
Mixing Vaccines May Provide Strong Protection
The NY Times reports on preliminary study data which “suggest that mixing different brands of vaccines can provoke a protective immune response against COVID-19.”
“In the trial, volunteers produced high levels of antibodies and immune cells after getting one dose of the Pfizer vaccine and one dose of the AstraZeneca shot.
The study also found that using different vaccines produced a higher level of immune cells primed to attack the coronavirus than did giving two doses of the same vaccine. “
Many Think the Pandemic is Over in the U.S.
The Hill reports that a poll showed that “almost 30 percent of Americans said…that the COVID-19 pandemic is over in the U.S., as cases, hospitalizations and deaths have dropped amid vaccinations.”
“More Americans are expressing optimism, as the poll documented a record-high percentage of people, at 89 percent, who said the coronavirus pandemic is improving in the country.”
However, fewer than 40% of Georgians have been fully vaccinated, one of the lowest rates in the nation. There remain areas where infection rates remain higher than the rest of the country, especially for the Delta variant. Since children under 12 have been unable to get the vaccine, parents should remain cautious about relaxing safety precautions and returning to pre-pandemic routines.
CDC Recommendation on Mask Wearing Different than WHO
“CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said recently that the U.S. agency is leaving it up to states and local health officials to set guidelines around mask-wearing even after the World Health Organization urged fully vaccinated people to continue the practice.”
“The CDC has ‘always said that local policymakers need to make policies for their local environment,” Walensky said. She added that the agency’s guidelines broadly recommend that vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks.
She added, ‘If you are vaccinated, you are safe from the variants that are circulating here in the United States.’”
Continued Risk at Summer Camp if Safety Recommendations are Not Followed
USA Today reports that “more than 80 teens and adult staff have tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a summer camp in central Illinois that did not require masks indoors or vaccination status.”
Masking in Schools Reduces Spread of COVID-19
Medpage Today reports that “an analysis of North Carolina’s experiment in reopening public schools to in-person instruction this spring showed the success of masking, with less apparent impact of physical distancing and other measures.”
“Notably, there were no differences in within-school transmission, whether schools required that more than 3 feet of physical distance be maintained between students or less or none at all. Nor were there differences between districts that kept students from sitting together on school buses or allowed two or three to a bench seat.”
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.