Officials and experts worry about COVID-19 and kids, hopeful for vaccine soon

National and World News

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Federal officials say the belief that kids are safe from COVID-19 is wrong.

“The myth that children don’t get sick is disproven by the facts,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.

Becerra said there are a number of children who’ve been hospitalized by the virus and some have died.

“The kids are part of the unvaccinated, right? And if you haven’t been exposed to coronavirus in the past and if you’re not vaccinated, you’re at risk of getting bad complications of the viral infection itself,” said Dr. Clair Boogard, Children’s National COVID-19 Vaccine Program medical director.

Health experts like Boogard say even though kids handle the virus better than adults, there are many safety measures to take.

“We really need to practice social distancing, the wearing of masks, the handwashing so that we can protect those more vulnerable,” Boogard said.

Boogard said the fight against the virus could change in the next few weeks.

“The FDA will be meeting to look at the data that Pfizer has presented on the 5- to 11-year-olds,” Boogard said.

Boogard said the FDA may recommend a slightly smaller dose for children, which will still provide protection to children and those around them.

“As a population, we will get closer and closer to that herd immunity that we’ve all been talking about,” Boogard said.

After approval, it will be up to parents and guardians to take action.

“Once we get the word that it’s OK to vaccinate 5 to 11, let take them and every child above the age of 11 to get vaccinated,” Becerra said.

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