Doctor vaccinating girl. Injecting COVID-19 vaccine into patient's arm

COVID-19 Updates: AAP Encourages More Kids Ages 12 and Up to Get Vaccinated, Vaccine Refusal Causes Healthcare Staffing Shortages

Doctor vaccinating girl. Injecting COVID-19 vaccine into patient's arm

At least 226 million cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been diagnosed worldwide as of Monday evening, September 13, 2021, including at least 4.65 million deaths. Healthcare officials in the United States have reported at least 41.1 million positive COVID-19 cases and approximately 661,000 deaths. Source: Johns Hopkins University & Medicine

At least 5.73 billion individual doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered worldwide as of Monday evening, including at least 380 million in the United States. Source: GitHub

Want to learn more about COVID-19? Explore essential learning for nurses.

AAP announces campaign to encourage more parents to get kids vaccinated

A multifaceted national marketing campaign aimed at encouraging parents to have children ages 12 and older vaccinated against COVID-19 has been launched by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

According to AAP officials, the program, supported by a grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), includes public service announcements, social media campaigns, and video testimonials. The AAP created the multipronged effort to reach parents who have not yet vaccinated their eligible children and to encourage them to talk with a pediatrician about their questions and reservations.

“It’s so important for parents to get their children 12 and older vaccinated to prevent them from getting COVID-19,” said Dr. Lee Savio Beers, president of the AAP, in a prepared statement.

After declining in early summer, child COVID-19 cases have increased exponentially, with a more than five-fold increase rising from approximately 38,000 cases to nearly 204,000 the week ending Aug. 26, sending more than 19,000 children to the hospital, according to the AAP.

To further the effort to distribute factual information from trusted sources about the COVID vaccine, the AAP has partnered with the Kaiser Family Foundation in a series of videos with pediatricians answering common questions. The video library can be accessed online.

Learn more about providing healthcare to children in our speciality series on Pediatric Health.

Vaccine refusal causes NY hospital to end maternity care

Administrators at Lewis County Health System, a network in upstate New York, have announced that they will temporarily end offering maternity services to patients after some employees have refused to receive a vaccine, which has resulted in staffing shortages due to the state’s mandate.

According to a report by NBC News, the hiatus is expected to last at least through September. The deadline for healthcare staff members to get their first vaccine doses per the state law is Sept. 27. Medical exemptions are reportedly being made for those who are allergic to or have had previous adverse reactions to vaccines, but the state does not allow for religious exemptions for many healthcare workers.

More than 460 members of the hospital system’s staff, approximately 73%, have been vaccinated versus 165 who have not. Lewis County has a seven-day positivity rate of 5.8% while the average for the state remains at 3.2%, according to the most recent state data.

Childhood obesity rises due to pandemic

American children gained excess weight during the pandemic’s stay-at-home orders, according to a new study of almost 200,000 kids.

The study, “Changes in Body Mass Index Among Children and Adolescents During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” was led by a team of researchers from the University of Michigan and Kaiser Permanente Southern California that analyzed data on kids and teens ages 5-17 years old. Researchers reportedly compared body mass index (BMI) before the pandemic between March 2019 and January 2020 to BMI during the pandemic between March 2020 and January 2021.

Excess weight gain was said to be particularly notable in those ages 5-11 years old, who gained an average of five pounds more during the pandemic period. Older children ages 16-17 years gained two pounds more compared to the previous year.

This extra weight gain increased the prevalence of young children considered overweight or obese by roughly 9%, according to the research.

Explore the causes, treatment, and prevention of childhood obesity in our course Childhood Obesity, 2nd Edition.

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