As the Delta Variant extends the impact of Covid-19 on the lives of Americans, child infection rates have reached record highs. Last Saturday, child pediatric hospitalizations reached 1,902 nationwide (Reuters).
Vaccinations remain effective against the Delta Variant, but since children under the age of twelve are unable to be vaccinated, they are taking the brunt of the Delta strain. About a fifth of new cases are composed of children, while 2.4 percent of hospitalizations are children (Popular Science). Although death rate changes for the new Delta Variant compared with earlier strains are not significantly greater, the Delta Variant has been shown to be much more transmissible than earlier strains (Live Science).
Due to this high transmission factor, a notable spike in cases has arisen among the unvaccinated — particularly southeastern states of Mississippi and Florida. In several counties, local hospitals required the use of overflow facilities which had been unused for over 6 months (Reuters). White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci blames the current wave of the Delta Variant on the unvaccinated, saying it is “an outbreak of the unvaccinated.”
This recent spike among unvaccinated individuals, particularly children, is being cited as evidence to support further lockdowns, mask mandates, vaccine mandates, and school closures. However, many Republican-led states such as Arkansas, Florida, Arizona, South Carolina and Texas have implemented state laws prohibiting such government regulations. Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida insisted that “there will be no lockdowns, there will be no school closures, there will be no restrictions and no mandates.”
Several local school districts of these states have gone ahead requiring masks and defied the state law. Furthermore, the largest teacher’s union, National Education Association, announced its support for mandatory vaccinations and masking of its members. According to Becky Pringle, “Our students under 12 can’t get vaccinated. It’s our responsibility to keep them safe.”
ARTICLE: DAVID NISSING
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: SCMP.COM