NIH Director Calls for Parents Wear Masks at Home to Shield Their Unvaccinated Children

‘I know that’s uncomfortable, I know it seems weird, but it is the best way to protect your kids’

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(Via Mediaite)

BERMAN: “So, Kate from New York has this question: ‘Has the delta variant increased the risk for young children? My daughter is 2 years old, doesn’t wear a mask. Should we avoid taking her indoors in public?’”
COLLINS: “It’s clear that this variant is capable of causing serious illness in children. You have heard those stories coming out of Louisiana, pediatric ICUs where there are kids as young as a few months old who are sick from this. That is rare. Certainly younger people are less likely to fall ill, but anyone who tries to tell you, ‘Oh, you don’t have worry about it if you are a young, healthy person,’ there’s many counter-examples all around us now. So, yeah, you do need to think about it and that’s the reason why the recommendations are for kids under 12 that they avoid being in places where they might get infected, which means recommendations of mask-wearing in schools and at home. Parents of unvaccinated kids should be thoughtful about this and the recommendation is to wear masks there as well. I know that’s uncomfortable, I know it seems weird, but it is the best way to protect your kids.”
BERMAN: “But just again, I want to fully understand if this is about protecting the kids from Delta or is it an issue of worrying that the kids could then pass it to other people? Is Delta making kids more sick? Are they getting sicker than they were? Is there any evidence of that from the previous variants?”
COLLINS: “There is suggestive evidence comparing Delta. This is from studies in Singapore, in Scotland, in Canada, that, in fact, this is not just more contagious, but more serious in various age groups. It’s not as solid as I wish it was, we don’t have really enough numbers to be confident, but it certainly tilts the balance in that direction.”
BERMAN: “Well, I think you need to emphasize that then, if you see evidence of that. Because that’s a change, right? Before, the big concern was that kids could get it, pass it on to others, but by and large they weren’t becoming ill in great numbers, any kind of numbers that were causing deep concern. But now what you’re saying is they can get sick enough that this is a worry?”
COLLINS: “It’s sick enough it can be a worry. It frankly was before and perhaps it was underemphasized. In part now because older people who are vaccinated are not so much filling up the hospitals. The average age has dropped significantly. So now we are seeing, perhaps, in this spectrum of illness, more emphasis on younger people, including kids. Again, I don’t want to overstate the confidence that we have about whether Delta is more dangerous to children. The balance has not been fully settled there, but it’s tipping in that direction.”

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