Outbreaks of COVID-19 in NJ schools increases push to get children vaccinated
When the COVID-19 pandemic first began, it was thought that children were less likely to contract the virus.
But as more studies are performed and outbreaks in schools increase around New Jersey, it would seem that this is no longer the case.
New Jersey health officials say that there are 30 new outbreaks of COVID-19 in schools around the state. They say that this shows that children are still spreading the virus when they are together.
Students in New Jersey’s schools are already wearing masks and social distancing. And there is hope that when more students are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, outbreaks will dwindle.
Pfizer is now requesting that the Food & Drug Administration grant emergency use authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine for children between the ages of 5 and 11.
That vaccination could go a long way toward helping schools and families. In addition, there's a new study from JAMA Pediatrics which states children are similar to adults when it comes to risk of infection. But children are likely to be more asymptomatic.
Experts agree children are less likely to have severe reactions to the virus, but Dr. Anthony Fauci says, “On the other side of the coin, look at the pediatric hospitals throughout the country, and you can ask any pediatric hospitalist if they’re seeing a lot of children in the hospital with severe infection."
As for New Jersey’s school cases of COVID-19, Passaic County has the most cases with 62. Mercer County is next with 39. Camden County has 37 cases in schools and Monmouth County has 35.
The goal is to have more children eligible for the vaccine by the end of October.
As for the potential vaccine rollout for children, if Pfizer gets approval, the White House says there would be community sites to get vaccinated in addition to access at pediatric offices.