As the virus spreads over the world, the environment is no longer as secure as it once was. The way people used to see crowded places and mingle with their friends at their favorite hang-out place and see the family gathered to have bonded with their children to catch up with them. The way children enjoy running at parks and have their playmates join them in the activity area in their subdivision is to use the time to socialize and be free from loneliness at home. With the surge of new COVID variant omicron, a question arise: Are children more at risk from Omicron? Let’s find out.
The moment that the world encounters the virus that circulates with variants across different countries, the enjoyment, and excitement that people feel from the previous years is not the same anymore. The most affected ones during this situation are the future of the nation which is the children at risk from omicron. As some of the countries begin to have pilot face-to-face classes and slowly get back to normal by stepping up with providing them to obey the health protocols that lead to many inevitable scenarios.
When did Omicron Variant Start?
Omicron variant begins to spike around late November in 2021 and discovers in South Africa as the country still struggling with the surge brought by the other diseases. According to World Health Organization, this kind of virus lingers a huge amount of mutations, and based on the preliminary verification there is a risk surrounding this variant that can cause more reinfection in public. According to its early release of data, it can spread more than two to three times which leads to quicker transmit of infection around public places and is visible for a mass amount of the number of people to add in the gathered cases that surpass other variants. Another thing to remember is that the Omicron variant has multiplied seventy times in human airways in comparison with the previous variants.
Children Situation Around the World
Are children at more risk from omicron is in question because when a less severe disease spreads quickly, younger children are among the most vulnerable people in the world to infection. The fact that the Omicron variant can transmit to more people in the surroundings is alarming for all and sets stricter government provisions for its residents. Here in the Philippines, the plan of expansion for the pilot run of face-to-face classes is halted for the meantime since the surge of Omicron from late November until the present is conveying continuous increases regarding its cases.
The surge in cases of Omicron variant across the world affects the health of many children and causes to increase in cases of hospitalized children that bothered the parents and government of each respective country as well. According to New York Times, the data gathered from the preliminary findings that the Omicron variant causes mild to severe illness toward children compared to the previous Delta Variant. Other analysis came from the disease control hospitals in the United Kingdom and case Western Reserve University that were supported by South Africa that children infected are less severe into it.
Most of the pediatricians among nations stated that the increase of hospitalizations coming from the cases of children age group is the result of low vaccination rates. In some circumstances, children are infected since some of their elders are working outside and coming from the schools that they attend since some countries begin to implement to get back at new normal that cause to expose them at such crowded places going in and out the school.
Presence of Vaccines for the Children
Many observations coming from respective hospitals around the world saw that the outcomes involving children from the cases were due to lack of immunization which is why many people initially worried that children might be at more risk from omicron. Immunization is regarding the method of making the person protected against any diseases through the approved vaccination to secure one’s health and prevent many serious cases. In this aspect, children ages 5 and above are vulnerable and might lead to severe cases if it was not taken on a serious note. Children younger than 12 are not always vocal in terms of what they feel or when they are not feeling well. It always has to be the parents or guardians that must be aware of their daily situation to monitor the health of their beloved children.
Read Also: Vaccination Among Children Aged 5 -11
In some circumstances, several countries are still making progress regarding vaccines that undergo clinical studies to ensure the health of the children with the consent of the parents or guardian before it proceeds. The roll-out of vaccines in many countries is still lacking support and cannot avoid the presence of many parents or guardians that worries for their beloved children due to its side effects. There is always a good and bad outlook in such a solution where people are into the aspect of weighing where it will bring a better outcome for them since they have to prioritize the health of their children.
What is the Offered Solution?
The unanimous solution that many health experts across the world stated is to get vaccinated. Vaccination programs must be progressing well in each country since the goal is to prevent the spread of the virus turn into worst-case scenarios for each citizen. People must be properly educated regarding the purpose of this program. Although, some are having doubts because of its composition of whether it is safe for everyone to have especially children are involved. In some parts of the world, the Covid 19 vaccines that have been approved to be provided for children are Sinovac and BioNTech.
The gathered health records convey a message that children are not at risk in the Omicron variant or Delta variant since most of the health experts see the lower vaccination rates are the cause of the increase of children hospitalized that are not yet vaccinated and at the same time, their immune systems must be monitored well by maintaining a healthy lifestyle including their mental, emotional and physical well being.
Health experts stated that if the child is not that approved by the age groups to undergo the process they should be accompanied by fully vaccinated or even done the booster shot for parents or guardians to keep them protected from the virus. The more the parents or guardians are guided well by the purpose of the vaccination rollout, there is a chance for herd immunity where everyone can back to its normal state.
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Written by Angela J. Cruz