Amarillo health experts are seeing more children being hospitalized due to COVID-19

Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 7:50 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Compared to previous surges, health experts say this is the most children they are seeing become hospitalized from COVID-19.

“We are clearly seeing an increased rate of hospitalization of children you know right now I think we have 5 or 6 children in our hospital with COVID-19 that is way more than we have seen with previous surges,” said Dr. Brian Weis, Northwest Texas Healthcare System, chief medical officer.

He said all the children they are seeing become hospitalized are unvaccinated because they are under the age of 12 and the vaccine is not yet available to them.

Texas Tech Physicians Pediatrician, Dr. Raphael Mattamal, said they have not seen a vaccinated pediatric patient be admitted to the hospital at all.

Both health experts believe with school starting soon, we will see a surge in cases.

“I have no doubt that when we start congregating children in schools, their will be an increased amount of spread,” said Dr. Weis.

Dr. Weis believes that many grades are unprotected right now since those under the age of 12 cannot receive the vaccine, and he believes the vaccine is the best way to prevent the spread.

They hope the FDA allows for those under the age of 12 to become vaccinated soon because they believe that is the best way to protect the spread.

Dr. Mattamal said with school starting back, they encourage students to go back to in-person learning, but in a safe way.

“Would still encourage vaccination, still encourage masking especially indoors and we still encourage you to get your regular preventative medical care,” said Dr. Mattamal.

Health experts say the virus comes in different forms and not everyone gets the same symptoms.

“If your child is feeling ill, don’t send them to school and get them tested. It’s important to know if they have COVID-19,” said Dr. Weis.

Doctors want the community to know that it is not too late to receive the vaccine.

“The most preventive intervention we can do is give a vaccine to somebody, so I strongly encourage 12 and up,” said Dr. Weis.

With school starting soon, they also mentioned other sicknesses will be going around as well, such as the flu.

They say it is important to make sure you are washing your hands, masking up inside and practicing social distancing because it will help protect you from COVID-19 and other sicknesses.

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