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 COVID-19 vaccine trials, children’s antibodies to the virus, gathering during the holidays, and more.
Encouraging Results from Vaccine Trials
Vaccine manufacturer Moderna recently reported that their vaccine against the COVID-19 virus was nearly 95% effective in their study of 30,000 adults. Pfizer has also reported that their vaccine reduced symptomatic cases 95% compared to placebo.
Preliminary plans indicate that vaccine will be offered first to high-risk populations, including first responders, healthcare workers and residents of nursing homes. The general adult population will be eligible for vaccination in later phases. It may take longer for the vaccine to be approved for children as the trials reported thus far have only included participants 16 and older.
When a safe and effective vaccine is available for children, we will recommend all our patients receive it. Until vaccine is approved for children, parents and other caregivers should be vaccinated to reduce the risk of bringing the virus home.
FDA Approves COVID-19 Test to be Done at Home
The FDA has approved a COVID-19 test that is done at home and provides results in 30 minutes.
It is important to note that the test requires a prescription and is not approved for home use for children under 14 years old.
We offer rapid antigen testing for COVID-19 in the office. Tests are performed on symptomatic patients during our afternoon Sick Visit hours.
Children’s Antibody Responses to the Coronavirus are Different
“Why are children so much less likely than adults to become infected with the new coronavirus and, if infected, less likely to become ill?
A possible reason may be that many children already have antibodies to other coronaviruses, according to researchers…About one in five of the colds that plague children are caused by viruses in this family. Antibodies to those viruses may also block SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus causing the pandemic… on average only 5 percent of adults had these antibodies, but 43 percent of children did.”
Higher Risk of Virus Spread Linked to Restaurants, Gyms and Hotels
Bloomberg News reports about a recent study using cell phone data to track spread of the virus.
The researchers used data collected from nearly 100 million cell phones “between March and May in cities across the U.S. to map the movement of people. They looked at where they went, how long they stayed, how many others were there and what neighborhoods they were visiting from. They then combined that information with data on the number of cases and how the virus spreads to create infection models.”
The study demonstrated that the “reopening of restaurants, gyms and hotels carries the highest danger of spreading Covid-19.”
Small Gatherings May be as Risky as Large Ones
A Washington Post story quotes health experts cautioning that gathering in small groups may not be any safer than large gatherings.
“A record-breaking surge in U.S. coronavirus cases is being driven to a significant degree by casual occasions that may feel deceptively safe, officials and scientists warn — dinner parties, game nights, sleepovers and carpools.
Many earlier coronavirus clusters were linked to nursing homes and crowded nightclubs. But public health officials nationwide say case investigations are increasingly leading them to small, private social gatherings. This behind-doors transmission trend reflects pandemic fatigue and widening social bubbles, experts say — and is particularly insidious because it is so difficult to police and likely to increase as temperatures drop and holidays approach.
The White House coronavirus task force has been urging states that are virus hot spots to curtail mask-less get-togethers of family and friends, saying in reports that asymptomatic attendees ‘cause ongoing transmission, frequently infecting multiple people in a single gathering.’”