By: Caroline Machiraju
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Most children shrug off the Covid virus with little more than sniffles. Some may have a sore throat, some a mild fever that fades after a day and, yes, these symptoms may even slay them on the couch for a day. Yet, local media and area health representatives present Covid as a potential grim-reaper for children, when statistics say otherwise.
Amid the cases spiking in school children, less than 1% of children diagnosed with Covid-19 are hospitalized – rates that haven’t changed in recent months, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP); and less than 0.01% die.
These statistics are often lost in the context of mainstream press coverage, which draws an unfair correlation between hospitalizations and their vaccination – or unvaccinated – status rather.
At Tuesday’s press conference with Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam, Dr. Karen Krok, the vice chair of clinical affairs at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, shared that her facility has 92 Covid patients and seven are under 18 – none of whom are vaccinated she added.
The glaring omission is whether these pediatric patients have underlying medical conditions.
Health care representatives withhold that key information, as doing so, they say, would violate HIPAA laws. But, the Center for Disease Control’s own website states: most children who develop severe illness from Covid-19, have underlying medical conditions.
The AAP also issued a statement that cases are rising – as school is back in session, but “severity” is not.
Parents must weed through the news headlines that often don’t balance the statistical realities in favor of the shock-news angle.
Pfizer announced Monday its push for Covid vaccines in children ages 5-11; and that it will seek US authorizations for this age group.