Health Headlines: Yale doctors part of push to get 12 to 15-year-olds vaccinated against COVID now that that age group is eligible


(WTNH) — Twelve to 15-year-olds across the country are now rolling up their sleeves for the COVID-19 vaccine shot. In today’s Health Headlines, we take a look at the local push to get this age group vaccinated.

Dr. Arjun Venkatesh, an emergency medicine physician at Yale New Haven Hospital, explained, “You take your kids to get shots to go to school all the time and those are shots we haven’t tested on a whole lot of other adults. Those are shots we just give to kids every year.

Measles for example.

“[COVID vaccine] is different, 100-million Americans have already gotten this vaccine safely.”

And while cases are rare, COVID-19 can make children very sick.

“It does happen. Several hundred kids have died in this age group from COVID-19. Several thousand have gotten a condition called MISC, an inflammatory condition.”

Thursday the WHO upgraded the new B16172 “double mutant” variant detected in India to be a global concern. This is due to how quickly it spreads and how severe the illness it causes. It has been detected in the U.S.

Only lab studies have been done to see if the COVID vaccine will neutralize the double mutant. Dr. Carlos Oliveira, a Yale Medicine pediatric infectious disease physician, said most of the time it did, but not always.

“It’s suggested that it may not be as effective at preventing infection from this new strain in the lab,” Dr. Oliveira said. “We need to look more at humans.”

And with so much news about wearing masks, this pediatric infectious disease doctor says children who are not yet vaccinated should.

“If you’re talking about contact sports like wrestling where you’re in really close proximity, you really shouldn’t be doing that unless you have gotten the vaccine,” he added.

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