Ochsner Pediatrics urge parents to vaccinate anyone in their household who is eligible

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UPDATES: “There is a lot more virus in the pediatric community than there has been in the past,” said System Chair of Pediatrics at Ochsner Hospital for Children William Lennarz M.D.

Lennarz said that there is an increase in hospitalizations, but it should be known that there are not a lot of critically-ill children.

“But where as we may have had no children in the hospital with COVID a few weeks ago, we are reaching in the five to 15 range the past week or so,” Lennarz said.

The age of affected pediatrics is dropping, this means that Ochsner Hospital for Children is seeing younger patients contracting the virus than they have before.

The Delta variant can affect children the same as the original virus, but children are the more susceptible population.

Ochsner Pediatrics urges parents to vaccinate anyone in their household who is eligible. Children 12 years and older are now eligible for the vaccine.

Medical Director of Infection Control and Prevention at Ochsner Health Katherine Baumgarten, M.D. said what she wants parents to know is that parents need to vaccinate their eligible children, so children who are ineligible can be protected.

“There is a lot of misinformation and concerns out in social media and we want to be clear about those that people need to go to a reliable sources of data for accurate information including the CDC website, American Academy of Pediatrics,” Baumgarten said. “But there’s been no data or information that COVID-19 vaccines affects child development, puberty or fertility.

Fevers can be a common and mild side effect in children and according to Baumgarten, pain and soreness can come after the second dose.

The state of Louisiana is under a mask mandate starting today. Lennarz said that Ochsner has been recommending masking in schools.

“So we are happy that this will happen uniformly across the state and provide the safest, possible platform for kids to go back to live education,” Lennarz said.

Here are some additional resources for parents to help their children get ready to go back to school:

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BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) Ochsner Hospital for Children will hold a Zoom on COVID-19 pediatric updates today at 1:45 p.m. CTS.

28.7% of pediatric patients, ages zero to 19, have tested positive for COVID-19. Anyone who is 12 years of age and older can receive the vaccine.

For information on vaccines and our community events, click here.

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