Parents of Peachtree Park Pediatrics,
When the pandemic began in the spring of 2020, PPP began sending out regular updates for parents. Over the next two years we used these weekly newsletters to provide information about COVID-19 and changes to our office policies and procedures.
Now that the pandemic seems to be finally winding down, we will stop these regular updates, though we will continue to communicate as needed, especially when vaccine becomes available for children under 5. We hope this has been a useful source of information and thank you for entrusting us with the care of your children.
Updates on Mask Wearing in Schools
As schools have stopped requiring masks it is important to note that wearing a mask remains appropriate for some students and teachers.
“Pediatricians urge state and local policymakers to keep in mind the unique needs of children when considering COVID-19 mitigation measures. For some children—including those too young to be immunized and many with special health care needs—masking will still be an important layer of protection for a while longer,” said AAP President Moira Szilagyi. “We encourage each family to make a plan that works best for them, while also modeling empathy and discouraging bullying of any child who chooses to mask to protect themselves and their family even when not required to do so.”
AAP advises families to consider the following factors in making this decision:
- If their child is between ages 2 and 5 and currently ineligible for COVID-19 vaccine
- If their child is immunocompromised and may not have a protective immune response to the COVID-19 vaccine, or is at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness
- If their child is not immunized
- If other members of their family are at higher risk of severe disease or are not immunized
- If they live in a community with “high” COVID-19 transmission
Universal masking in schools has proven to be very effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19. “Schools with universal masking policies saw 72% less in-school spread of COVID-19 than schools where masking was optional, according to a new study.”
“The rate of cases transmitted in schools was 3.6 times higher in schools with optional masking compared to schools with universal masking.”
Vaccine Effectiveness for Kids Against Omicron
“Many vaccinated kids experienced breakthrough infections during the Omicron surge, though protection against hospitalization remained stronger, a large new study found.”
“The CDC study found vaccinated children ages 5 to 11 — the youngest and most recently vaccinated group — were about 46% less likely to have Covid-19 that resulted in care at an urgent care clinic or emergency room, compared with children who were unvaccinated.
However, the new study found vaccinated grade schoolers continued to be less likely to be hospitalized for their infections than children who were unvaccinated. Out of nearly 1,700 hospital admissions, there were 59 unvaccinated kids ages 5 to 11 admitted to the hospital after testing positive for Covid-19, and just two who were vaccinated.”
140 Million Americans have had COVID-19
“About 140 million Americans have been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus through the end of January, according to an estimate from the CDC.”
“The percentage of individuals who have antibodies to COVID-19, known as seroprevalence, is 43.3 percent for the total U.S. population. The percentage of those with antibodies to the virus was lower in older age groups, with children having a seroprevalence of about 58 percent compared to 23 percent for those over the age of 65.”
New White House COVID Plan
“It’s time for America to stop letting the coronavirus “dictate how we live,” President Joe Biden’s White House declared recently, outlining a strategy to allow people to return to many normal activities safely after two years of pandemic disruptions.”
“’This plan lays out the roadmap to help us fight COVID-19 in the future as we move America from crisis to a time when COVID-19 does not disrupt our daily lives and is something we prevent, protect against, and treat,’ the White House said. ‘We are not going to just ‘live with COVID.’ Because of our work, we are no longer going to let COVID-19 dictate how we live.’”
“One highlight is a new ‘test to treat’ plan to provide free antiviral pills at pharmacies to people who test positive for the virus.”
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.