Joanna Storey, M.D.
For the doctors and staff of Children’s Medical Group, August is usually a time to finish up back-to-school shots and sports physicals and to plan for upcoming events like our fall flu vaccination effort. Unfortunately, the emergence of the covid-19 Delta Variant has surprised us all at summer’s end. Here are a few things for parents to keep in mind as our community works to respond to this latest COVID upswing:
- The Delta Variant has caused a huge increase in coronavirus illness in the U.S. Daily case rates in Mississippi are at least four times higher than they were just a month ago. The Delta Variant is the predominant strain circulating in Mississippi. The State Health Department is reporting that almost all positive COVID tests are caused by the Delta Variant.
- The Delta Variant is much more contagious than previous strains of coronavirus. A recent study showed that people infected with this variant carry 1000 times more viral particles in their noses than those infected with the original covid strain.
- More children are being infected with the Delta Variant and more children are becoming seriously ill. Our state’s Children’s Hospital in Jackson recently reported an all-time high for coronavirus admissions. A number of these patients have required ICU-level care and ventilator support.
- The Pfizer vaccine (currently the only vaccine approved for use in people under age 18) is very effective against the Delta Variant. Although immunity to the virus now appears to wane somewhat with time after vaccination, the vaccine is still very protective against serious illness, hospitalization and death. The vast majority of covid patients who require hospital-level care are unvaccinated. Governor Tate Reeves recently declared that the current pandemic in our state is largely a pandemic of the unvaccinated.
- The physicians of Children’s Medical Group continue to recommend vaccination for those eligible (currently ages 12 and up) as the best way to avoid becoming sick with the Delta Variant. Vaccination appointments are available in our Madison and Jackson offices and we also vaccinate parents. Visit our website if you wish to schedule a COVID vaccination.