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Doctors: Kids at risk of getting Delta variant weeks before school starts

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 9:26 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The start of the school year is just weeks away, and COVID-19 cases are on the rise. Some of those cases are in children.

As kids prepare set to head back to the classroom, doctors advise parents to vaccinate their children if they are old enough.

Dr. Saba Fatima, a pediatric doctor at Wesley Children’s Hospital, says now is not the time for parents to let their guard down.

The number of kids hospitalized with COVID-19 isn’t currently high, but as kids get back to class, it could change.

“Numbers are not extremely high, but we are definitely seeing kids coming to the hospital, and we see a lot of other repertory viruses, so we are really busy, which is unusual for the summer,” said Dr. Famita.

The effort to get children vaccinated before the start of school is something GraceMed is working towards. The healthcare group announced Thursday that it would begin vaccinating children ages 12-17 with the Pfizer vaccine. The group is targeting seven of their school-based clinics to administer 450 vaccines. GraceMed hopes to get kids at least one dose before the first day of school.

Dr. Julie Edler with GraceMed hopes to see vaccination rates rise.

“We don’t want to go backward. Everyone is tired of COVID and masking, but we can’t give up the race now. We have to keep going and pushing through,” said Dr. Elder.

The county dashboard shows that there have been more than 6,000 cases of COVID-19 in Sedgwick County kids, ages zero to 17, so far.

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