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 more on the FDA’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine, attending school safely, things to consider as we move into the fall, and more.
Pfizer Vaccine Gets Full Approval
On Monday the FDA granted full approval to the Pfizer vaccine for people 16 and older. Since the vaccine is no longer under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), some vaccine hesitant parents may feel more comfortable getting the vaccine for themselves or their children.
All the doctors and staff at PPP have been fully immunized. We recommend and encourage the COVID vaccine for everyone 12 and older. The vaccine remains available to 12-15 year-olds under EUA.
Looking Towards the Fall
Flu vaccine: Each year we give over 5000 doses of Flu vaccine. This year our vaccine shipments are scheduled to begin arriving in early September; as soon as we have Flu vaccine in the office we will let families know by e-mail, text and through our website and begin scheduling Flu clinics depending on our supply. We recommend and encourage Flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older.
Patients with Asthma: For children with Asthma, their symptoms have typically been less severe over the past 18 months of the pandemic. This was due to fewer respiratory illnesses with distance learning, social distancing and mask wearing. With the high level of respiratory illnesses over the summer, there is concern that patients with Asthma may have more issues this fall. If your child has persistent Asthma, especially if they have needed daily preventative medicine in the past, please call the office to schedule an Asthma visit so we can discuss plans for the coming seasons.
Should You Worry About RSV?
The Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is the most common cause of Upper Respiratory Infections (colds). Almost all children have had RSV by 2 years of age and reinfection is common.
RSV typically occurs in the fall and winter, but in 2021 there has been surge in the summer months. This is likely due to masking and social distancing that resulted in a very mild cold and flu season this past winter.
Most children with RSV have mild symptoms (cough, runny nose, congestion, sore throat, fever) that can be managed at home. Children with colds may attend school or daycare as long as they don’t have fevers.
For infants under 6 months old and those with risk factors like prematurity or lung disease, RSV can involve the lungs causing breathing difficulties. These children may be diagnosed with Bronchiolitis, inflammation of the small airways in the lungs. Symptoms include breathing harder or faster and wheezes heard with the stethoscope. Most infants with Bronchiolitis are managed at home as long as they are comfortable and able to eat and sleep.
For most children, there is no reason to test for RSV as the result would not change their treatment. At the Emergency Room or Urgent Care, some children are tested with a Viral Respiratory Panel which identifies a dozen or more viruses (including RSV and Influenza, but not COVID) that cause respiratory symptoms.
Bottom line: RSV is a common virus which causes respiratory symptoms. Most children with RSV do not need testing or treatment. If your child is exposed to someone with RSV they can be treated the same as you would for any cold.
Additional Vaccine Dose vs. Booster Dose
The CDC recently recommended that people with severely weakened immune systems get an additional dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. It is expected that approval will be given soon for a booster dose 8 months after completing the 2-dose vaccine series.
This article explains the difference between additional and booster doses:
People with a suppressed immune system (due to cancer treatment, solid organ transplant or other reasons) may not produce a robust response to the vaccine. They may develop protective levels of antibodies to fight COVID-19. An additional dose of vaccine helps increase their antibody levels.
People with normal immune systems will respond to the vaccine by producing high levels of antibodies. Over time, the antibody levels may fall, leaving some more susceptible to infection. A booster dose greatly increases antibody levels.
Attending School Safely
Lee Beers, President of the AAP, recently wrote on CNN about “the right way to protect our children and return to in-person learning.”
Her message was simple: “We must work together to ensure that all children return to school safely. There are two things we can do right now to help make that possible: Get vaccinated and mask up. The best way to stop the spread of Covid-19 is for everyone 12 and above to get the vaccine.”
We recommend that everyone 2 and older wear a mask in school and in other crowded, indoor settings outside the home. Children have adapted to mask wearing remarkably well and don’t see it as a burden or inconvenience.
The Pope Encourages Vaccination
Pope Francis and other Catholic leaders encourage vaccination in this video:
The Pope describes getting the vaccine as “and act of love. Love for oneself, love for our families and friends, and love for all peoples…Getting vaccinated is a simple yet profound way to care for one another, especially the most vulnerable.”
Many who oppose vaccination and mask wearing focus solely on individual rights; the Pope reminds us all that we have an obligation to protect our community.
Falcons 100% Vaccinated
The Atlanta Falcons made national news recently as the first NFL team to be fully vaccinated.
“Vaccination is required for all NFL coaches, front-office executives, equipment managers and scouts.”
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
For reliable, up-to-date information about COVID-19, visit:
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.