Doctors say general risk of harm from COVID-19 is low in children


SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – There are more questions and concerns about COVID-19 as some parents prepare to send their kids to summer camps and schools prepare to fully return to the classroom.

As the pandemic rages on, doctors at Memorial Health are learning more about how the virus acts. In general, Dr. Stephen Thacker says children are less likely to be infected or have serious complications from COVID-19.

There is some science behind it.

“It’s just related to the types of receptors,” said Thacker, Memorial Health’s Chief Associate Medical Officer. “Our nose and mouth and throat allow the virus to enter our body and harm us. There are fewer of those receptors in young children compared to adults.”

In Chatham County, the Coastal Health District reports no COVID-19-related deaths in people under 29-years-old.

Savannah-Chatham County Public School System’s (SCCPSS) District Nursing Administrator says parents should base decisions not only on who is vaccinated.

“You could have a school and all of them be vaccinated, and your student could still go to school, and kids could still get infected with COVID. It’s where we are,” said Nurse Lisa Wilson.

In the past, SCCPSS has said it is optimistic a full return to the classroom will be possible in the fall.

Wilson says to make sure to educate yourself with available data on transmission rates. It is also important to note how day cares and summer camps are utilizing other measures to mitigate the spread of the virus.

“The general risk of harm for your child from infection of COVID-19 is really low. That said, I would definitely encourage parents to look at how camps are going to carry out their day-to-day,” said Thacker.

There is no vaccine approved right now for children under 16-years-old. Thacker says Pfizer has submitted vaccine data on children 12 to 15-years-old.

The group could start getting vaccinated by mid-May.

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