Time to Expand Vaccination to Infants and Toddlers and Boosters for Children

The current surge in COVID-19 infections is hospitalizing children and adolescents at unprecedented rates. In the early stages of the pandemic, parents were assured that children primarily experience mild flu-like symptoms. Innate immune protection against the COVID-19 virus largely spared young children from contracting previous variants. However, as the predominant variant of COVID-19, Omicron has unique adaptations that penetrate natural immunity, leading to increased infection and hospitalization among children as young as infants.

Although rare, multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) can manifest in pediatric patients vulnerable to severe COVID-19 related complications. Coinciding with positive COVID-19 symptoms, MIS-C is characterized by inflammation of organs and tissues, including the skin, brain, heart, blood vessels, lungs, digestive systems or kidneys. Most children recover from MIS-C with medical care, but for some, symptoms worsen quickly.

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© William A. Haseltine, PhD. All Rights Reserved.