The number of children contracting COVID-19 is on the rise, prompting Baylor Scott & White Health to host an online town hall at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 12, to answers questions and address concerns parents have about children returning to in-person school during another spike in the pandemic.
Experts from Baylor Scott & White’s McLane Children’s Hospital in Temple are participating in the program. The Facebook Live event should last about an hour. Participation is open to the public. You can join through the McLane Children’s Hospital’s Facebook page.
The delta variant, which is nearly twice as contagious as previous variants, is driving an increase in hospitalizations and the spread among young people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC reported that the number of COVID-19 cases has increased from an average of about 12,000 daily in late June to about 60,000 daily in July. The latest case rate is similar to what the United States experienced before vaccines were widely available, officials said.
While breakthrough cases — those affecting the fully vaccinated — do occur, the CDC stated that the biggest concern is for those who are unvaccinated. Currently, only people 12 and older are eligible for vaccination against COVID-19.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given emergency use authorization for three vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Of the three, the FDA has only approved the Pfizer vaccine for ages 12 to 18, also with emergency use authorization.
Since the pandemic started, approximately 4.3 million children have been infected as of Aug. 5, according to a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association. However, in the week leading up to that date, about 94,000 children were reported to have COVID-19.
“After declining in early summer, child cases have steadily increased since the beginning of July,” the report reads.
During the Baylor Scott & White town hall Thursday, McLane Children’s pediatric leaders from Infectious Disease, Emergency Medicine, General Pediatrics, and Pediatric Psychiatry will discuss issues such as COVID-19 anxiety, social development, safe play, and more. They will also field some questions.
Featured speakers are Dr. Dominic Lucia, McLane Children’s chief medical officer, Dr. Gueorgui Dubrocq of Infectious Disease, Dr. Jamie Avila of Pediatric Medicine, and Dr. Taha Ansari of Pediatric Psychiatry.