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Why the pandemic is really dangerous for children right now

Children are at serious risk in the pandemic right now. Here’s why

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Kids at Chicago’s Wrigley Field.

Kids play around a water fountain outside of Chicago’s Wrigley Field before a baseball game, Friday, June 11, 2021, as Chicago and rest of Illinois fully reopens ending an over a year-long COVID-19 restrictions.

Shafkat Anowar, Associated Press

Experts continue to express concern for children as the delta variant continues to spread in the coronavirus pandemic.

Why is the pandemic dangerous for kids?

Many children remain vulnerable to the novel coronavirus, as the mainstream COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer is only approved for children 12 years old and up. That means any child younger than 12 cannot get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Leana Wen, a former Baltimore health commissioner, recently explained to CNN why it’s such a dangerous time for children in the pandemic.

  • “We have the more contagious delta variant, we have surges and we have so many adults letting down their guard, not wearing masks, not getting vaccinated,” Wen told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Tuesday. “That’s contributing to this really dangerous environment for children.” 

Wen said children can stay safe in school with multiple layers of protection, including masks, proper ventilation and COVID-19 testing among staff and other students.

  • “Putting all that together is how we can get kids back in school safely,” Wen said. 

Delta variant puts children at risk

There’s been some concern among experts that the delta variant may put children at risk for severe illness, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

Dr. Richard Besser, former acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said he expects schools to face immense challenges as the delta variant spreads.

  • “I think this fall is going to be really challenging for schools,” Besser said.
  • “I expect that (COVID-19) is going to jump around different classrooms, and schools will be forced to shut down more than they did in fact last year,” he said