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CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen included “younger children” in a list of the “most vulnerable” in a discussion about lifting mask mandates on Monday’s “CNN Newsroom.”
“Life has now become less safe for those who are most vulnerable, including younger children, including those who are immunocompromised because if they’re now going to be surrounded by people who are maybe unvaccinated but also unmasked, they could be more exposed than before,” she said.
Co-host Alisyn Camerota asked Wen about the ongoing confusion among parents when it comes to vaccinating their children. Wen, who has two children under the age of 5, said she “understands” the frustration that they may have to wait. “We have to trust the process,” she said.
Co-host Victor Blackwell asked how much those that are immunocompromised and those under the age of 5 should “lead the decisions” that officials in states across the U.S. are starting to make in lifting indoor mask mandates.
“Lifting a government-imposed mask mandate doesn’t mean it’s suddenly safe,” Wen said, adding people should choose to take additional precautions.
Sixty-four percent of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated.
An article from the Mayo Clinic published in late January says that despite being as likely as adults to get COVID-19, children are also “less likely to become severely ill.”
“Up to 50% of children and adolescents might have COVID-19 with no symptoms,” the Mayo Clinic says. They also note that in some cases, children do become hospitalized and need treatment. The article also notes that the risk of severe infection increases with certain medical conditions such as, obesity, asthma and diabetes.
COVID-19 VACCINATION AND YOUNG CHILDREN: WHAT TO KNOW
“Children, including very young children, can develop COVID-19. Many of them have no symptoms. Those that do get sick tend to experience milder symptoms such as low-grade fever, fatigue, and cough. Some children have had severe complications, but this has been less common. Children with underlying health conditions may be at increased risk for severe illness,” a Harvard Health Publishing article from January says.
Children only constitute 2 percent of COVID-10 hospitalizations, according to a New York Daily News piece from early January. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) also says most children that contract COVID-19 will experience very minor symptoms.
A New York Times article from October 2021 notes that children under the age of 12 “appear to be at less risk than vaccinated people in their 40s if not 30s.”
‘THE VIEW’ CO-HOST SUNNY HOSTIN DRASTICALLY OVERSTATES PERCENTAGE OF COVID DEATHS AMONG YOUNGER PEOPLE
“Two years into the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, it is a relief that children have not suffered to the same extent as adults when infected — a judgment that holds true even as the omicron variant spreads and headlines warn that child hospitalizations are up dramatically. Only 20-30% of children in the hospital with COVID are admitted for acute COVID illness; most are admitted for reasons other than COVID and happen to be PCR-positive,” Dr. Jennifer Lighter and Dr. Stephanie Ungar wrote for the Daily News.
“Among states reporting, children were 0.00%-0.27% of all COVID-19 deaths, and 5 states reported zero child deaths,” areport from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association said. Forty-six states, New York City, Puerto Rico and Guam all reported their mortality info.
Ninety-nine percent of children who have been hospitalized for the disease were not fully vaccinated, the Daily News reported. Currently, the CDC recommends children over the age of five get vaccinated, and the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for kids between the ages of 5-11 years-old.
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The vaccine has not yet been approved for children under the age of five.