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Thanksgiving could see COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5-11

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Carlos Moreno
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KCUR 89.3
Until a vaccine is approved for them, schoolchildren under 12 rely on masks, handwashing and other CDC recommendations to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.

Kansas City pediatrician sees hopeful trend in coronavirus cases among youngsters.

Metro area schools have been open for nearly two months and the country saw COVID-19 cases among children rise.

Parents of children 5 to 11 are wondering how far away an authorized vaccine is, while those with kids under 5 know that whatever that date, they most likely will be waiting longer.

The good news for parents, says pediatrician Dr. Natasha Burgert, is that day seems to be nearing.

"I think kids will be able to start to get COVID vaccines into their arms before Thanksgiving," she says. "The FDA is taking a particularly large amount of time with this. We want to be incredibly careful and very meticulous with this discussion."

While previous strains of COVID-19 had a significantly lower impact on children than on adults, the delta variant poses more of a threat to young people who contract the virus.

However, Burgert explains things are certainly trending in the right direction.

"Kansas City is in a much better place than we were a few weeks ago, quite honestly. I think delta is coming down, our rates are coming down, our positivity rates in the clinics are coming down."

She joins Up To Date with the latest on COVID-19 in relation to children and answers listener's questions.

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
Elizabeth Ruiz is a freelance producer for KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact her at elizabeth@kcur.org or on Twitter at @er_bentley_ruiz
As Up To Date’s associate producer, I construct daily conversations that give our listeners context to the issues of our time. I strive to provide a platform that holds those in power accountable, while also spotlighting the voices of Kansas City’s creatives and visionaries that may otherwise go unheard. Email me at zach@kcur.org.