Coronavirus risk still high for kids under 12

SPOKANE, Wash. — With the Delta variant sweeping across the nation, coronavirus cases are rising in Spokane for a second time. The Spokane County Regional Health District is pushing vaccines but there’s still no vaccine approved for children under 12.

072121 Covid Cases By Age Full 1Children under 19 make up some of the lowest percentage of new coronavirus cases in Spokane County, but with the pandemic not just quite behind us, some parents are still worried.

“We’re still trying to be careful, while still mixing in some normalcy again in our lives,” said parent, Angela Castillo. “Getting out, doing things outside. When we go inside, we try to wear masks still — about all we can do.”

Some are not as concerned, like Karissa Snow who’s a parent to a five-year-old.

“When I look at the studies, the kids in that age group are the lowest risk, and they seem to recover really well from it, so we’ve just been living our life like normal,” Snow explained.

Dr. Sarah d’Hulst, pediatrician at the Multicare Rockwood Clinic is still advising parents to take coronavirus precautions.

“It is a weeks-long, sometimes, inconvenience for your family for one child to catch COVID, because all the other family members are exposed and so then potentially can’t work,” Dr. d’Hulst said.

Months away from the vaccine being available for the younger age group, she’s hesitant for the next few months.

“I see the light at the end of the tunnel of the pandemic, but we are not through the tunnel yet,” d’Hulst explained.  “We have one big cold and flu season that’s about to start in a couple months and I think that is the end of the tunnel.”

According to d’Hulst, the protocols we all followed last year to battle coronavirus also helped fight the common cold.

“I’ve seen two ear infections in the last 15 months, and I typically see two per day during cold and flu season, so the masking, and the handwashing, and the distancing, regardless of the concerns about COVID made a huge difference,” Dr. d’Hulst said,  “Not all of what we’re trying to do is to prevent significant illness. We’re trying to prevent significant interruption in people’s lives.”

Even though it’s summer, she’s advising children who can get vaccinated in the 12 to 17 age group do so now, so by the time school starts they’ll be completely vaccinated.

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