Health Headlines: Omicron not as dangerous as other strains; new studies on kids and COVID


(WTNH) – There’s more information suggesting that the omicron variant is not as dangerous as other strains, and the CDC with new studies out on kids and COVID. One shows pediatric vaccines appear safe and another about pediatric hospitalizations.

With the omicron variant of COVID-19 spreading like wildfire in Connecticut and around the world, experts are now saying it appears to be less severe, with most people infected and sick spending a relatively short time in the hospital.

A professor of medicine at the University of Oxford says omicron is not the same disease as previous strains, leading to fewer hospitalizations, which John Bell says shows the vaccines are working.

Yale Dr. Scott Roberts warns though, the omicron variant will have Connecticut in its grips for a while.

“We as a healthcare system and as a state really need to be prepared to face increased cases, increased hospitalizations in the coming weeks,” Dr. Roberts said.

There’s word that the FDA could move soon on approving vaccine boosters to kids ages 12 to 15, perhaps in weeks or even days ahead. The head of the CDC says she does not anticipate approval of a vaccine for kids under five in the near future.

One CDC study released on Thursday found that serious problems among children 5 to 11 who had received the Pfizer vaccine were extremely rare. There’s a word of caution from Dr. Roberts on gatherings for New Year’s Even during this time of high positivity rates.

“If people take at-home rapid tests before the gathering, avoid risky scenarios before going to that gathering, and making sure everybody’s vaccinated, it can definitely be safer,” Dr. Roberts said.

A CDC report on pediatric hospitalization found that two-thirds of kids hospitalized with COVID were at risk with other conditions like obesity or were already sick.

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