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Health experts say kids can catch COVID-19 at the same time as flu, strep, and RSV

Published: Jul. 25, 2021 at 10:44 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - ADPH reports many Alabama providers have seen a drastic drop in routine vaccination visits, leaving kids at an increased risk for catching vaccine preventable diseases.

“A lot of time people think children are just small adults and that is not the case,” Jefferson County’s Child Health Medical Director Dr. Khalilah Brown said. “Children being in daycare and younger, they are actually exposed to other viruses, and they tend to catch those. RSV and the common cold, we fight off better than children typically do.”

Brown said now that many are going mask free, children are at an increased risk of catching a virus this flu season.

“Last year they were very mild,” she said. “We think it is because of the mask. Our children were wearing masks and they just weren’t spreading these other viruses. They were washing their hands and being good about hygiene last year. We need to do that again this year, because when a child gets Covid-19 on top of the flu, on top of strep, then we have significant issues.”

Brown said those significant issues can lead to death.

“When you see cases like we saw in Georgia, of a child who had Covid and then two other concomitant infections, they actually passed,” Brown said. “That is the concern with children.’'

Brown said in 2020, the US saw a 14 percent decrease in routine childhood immunizations, including a 20 percent decrease for measles vaccination.

Brown said to avoid co-contamination with covid-19, children’s shots need to be updated before the school year starts.

“This will ensure the overall health and wellness for each child during school and that our children continue to be protected from all other vaccine preventable diseases,” she said.

State health officials said kids can also now get a Covid-19 vaccine at the same time as those other routine shots. Previous guidance required 14 days in between, but experts said it is now safe to get them all in one visit.

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