The COVID-19 pandemic has been wearing all of us down thanks to the Delta variant. And now we have Omicron on the heels of a summer surge that hit children more than any other surge.
That surge isn’t going away like predicted or hoped. In fact, we’re seeing cases in children going up. Last week at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) we saw the highest number of 6 to 12-year-olds test positive for COVID-19 ever—more than 350. We also saw more children hospitalized for COVID-19 than ever before.
But the good news at the near two-year mark is we’ve learned what works best against the virus. The tried and trues, if you will. Masks and vaccines. Are they perfect? No. Are they safe? Yes. Are they being used? Not exactly.
Roughly 20 percent of 5-9-year-olds in Lehigh County have gotten a COVID-19 shot. It’s even lower in Northampton County. We can do better—and we have to do better if we want to put the pandemic behind us and keep our kids in school.
As a mom and a pediatrician—I understand the importance of informed consent and a parent’s obligation to make the right choice for their child. But it’s vital that parents are presented with the facts—not fear and fiction so easily accessible on social media—when making decisions like this.