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Doctor sees rise in COVID-19 cases among children

Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 7:13 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 25, 2021 at 7:15 PM EDT
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ADEL, Ga. (WALB) - A medical director at Southwell Health Systems in Adel says the number of pediatric COVID-19 patients continues to increase daily.

WALB News 10′s Molly Godley spoke with that medical director about steps they’re taking to protect young people from the virus.

Dr. Flavia Rossi, medical director at Affinity Pediatrics, said they are seeing COVID-19 in all ages, from newborn to 18 years old.

Dr. Flavia Rossi, Medical Director at Affinity Pediatrics
Dr. Flavia Rossi, Medical Director at Affinity Pediatrics(WALB)

“The kids with the delta strain are a lot sicker than we saw with the alpha strain,” said Dr. Rossi.

She said they are having kids hospitalized.

“If they need to go to pediatric ICU then we are transferring them to the closest children’s hospital that has availability. Because that’s been another issue, everyone’s full,” said Dr. Rossi.

In some cases, they are sending kids to Augusta, or out of state, if there are no beds available.

Dr. Rossi said every week they’re having to increase the amount of space for children sick with COVID-19 and decrease the number of normal wellness checks.

“Which breaks my heart, but we can’t see all of the wellness checks we used to see. Right now, we’re putting some of them on hold until this calms down,” said Dr. Rossi.

The largest age group they’re seeing test positive for COVID-19 is aged 5-17. She said one recent announcement led to more people getting the vaccine.

After the FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine for ages 16 and up, Dr. Rossi said they've seen more...
After the FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine for ages 16 and up, Dr. Rossi said they've seen more people coming to get the shot.(WALB)

“The FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine for 16 and up. Right now, they’re working for the approval for the younger kids. We are still recommending it for the younger kids 12 and up,” said Dr. Rossi.

Although the vaccine is not 100 percent effective, people can still get the virus after the shot. The doctors say they are seeing the vaccine help.

“We have not seen any ICU admissions or even hospitalizations for kids that have had their vaccine,” said Dr. Rossi.

In the effort to get more vaccines in arms, Tift Regional Medical Center has expanded their vaccination sites. One is at Eighth Street Middle School, the other Annie Belle Clark Elementary.

They've opened more vaccination sites at Eighth Street Middle School and Annie Belle Clark...
They've opened more vaccination sites at Eighth Street Middle School and Annie Belle Clark Elementary.(WALB)

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