Many cases of COVID-19 are spread by “silent transmission” by people who are pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic. Children are more likely to have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. With the EUA for vaccinating 12-15 year-old children, the hope is that it will assist in stopping the virus. Vaccination can lessen the burden of outbreaks and can allow for reallotting resources to contact tracing in settings where unvaccinated individuals congregate in living, schools, and day-care facilities.
In a study published in JAMA Network Open, identification among children was shown to be an important strategy and vaccination could be the answer to preventing silent spread. “Contact tracing at the time of symptom onset or testing, as opposed to at the time of testing results, could have an important impact on suppressing onward disease transmission especially when you consider the turnaround time for COVID-19 test results” (Simulated Identification of Silent COVID-19 Infections Among Children and Estimated Future Infection Rates With Vaccination by Seyed M. Moghadas, PhD; Meagan C. Fitzpatrick, PhD; Affan Shoukat, PhD; et al).
Children are dynamic, active little people who don’t always follow the rules! Handwashing and social distancing has never been one of their means to an end. Fancy hand sanitizers, constant monitoring, and reinforcing distance may help, and of course, mask use is still a priority for this population. Get some fun masks, see through masks, scary faces, happy faces, whatever it takes to assist in compliance.
Stay well, mask up if appropriate, and stay tuned!