While mandates and restrictions are being lifted across the country, many parents with children too young to be vaccinated worry about keeping them safe. Scary Mommy sat down with U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to get the latest on COVID-19 and its impacts on young children.
#5. The Surgeon General’s 4-Year-Old Daughter Tested Positive
This week, the country’s top doctor Vivek Murthy announced via Twitter that his 4-year-old daughter tested positive for COVID-19. Thankfully, her symptoms of a sore throat and fever have been manageable and she is a generally healthy child. Murthy shared that as a parent and a physician, it has reaffirmed that regardless of our varying pandemic opinions, at the end of the day we are all aiming for the same thing — “to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.”
#4. We Are Still Waiting For The Vaccine For Under-5s
Parents of young kids were seemingly dealt another blow when the FDA delayed authorization of Pfizer’s two-shot dose of the vaccine for children younger than 5 years old. While disappointing, it’s not all bad news. To start, the surgeon general pointed out in an interview on Scary Mommy’s Live Work Thrive that the reason behind the FDA’s delay is to analyze additional data on the effectiveness of a third shot.
Murthy emphasized how this is a good example of the FDA being proactive. “If there was any chance two doses could give good protection to our children, they wanted to know that,” he says. “They concluded after looking that they had to wait for the data from three doses.” While unable to provide an exact timetable, Murthy estimated that it may take until April to get the data from that trial and said no corners will be cut in the process.
#3. Only 30% Of Kids Over 5 Are Vaccinated
While surrounding our young unvaccinated children with others who are vaccinated is an important layer of protection, vaccination rates for children who are eligible remain sluggish. Only about 30% of the country’s 28 million children aged 5-11 are vaccinated. “We have done well so far, but we have a long way to go,” Murthy says, emphasizing that all vaccines for children have gone through rigorous clinical trials and are very effective at reducing the risk of infection. Below, he describes how we should not tolerate the death of hundreds of children as we have seen over the past couple of years.
#2. Mixed Messaging On Masking Is Confusing To Parents
Murthy agrees that it has been exhausting for parents to have to make decisions again and again when considering the safety and the education of our children. While mask mandates are being lifted in some areas of the country, the surgeon general still recommends sending kids to school with a high-quality, well-fitting mask that they can tolerate. He added that the CDC is working on updated guidance that communities could use to evaluate when to pull back on precautions as hospitalizations decline.
#1. Parenting Was Never Easy — Pandemic Parenting Is Next Level
If you have reached a state of pandemic parenting burnout, you are not alone. The compounded stress of work, school, and ever-changing rules with a side of debates from opinions on all sides makes sixth-grade fractions look like a breeze. If it’s any consolation, the surgeon general agrees. Here’s what he has to say about pandemic parenting.
So for now, especially for parents of young children, pandemic parenting is no easier, but we are moving closer every day to solutions to help manage the virus, instead of it controlling the way we live. For more information on vaccines for your children, visit vaccines.gov. Sign up at Live.Work.Thrive. for more expert information on parenting in the new normal.
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