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Virus Cases Rise In Child Population: Vaccine Controls For Youngsters May Be Behind Infection Rise

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Tribune Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

DEPUTY Chief Medical Officer Dr Delon Brennen says health officials have noted higher coronavirus infection rates among children, a grouping that does not have the same broad vaccine coverage as other subsets of society.

Dr Brennen said officials noticed the increase among children as many adults were infected by what is believed to be the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

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Meanwhile Dr Philip Swann, Acting Chief Medical Officer, said vaccine supplies remained high in the country, but officials are still unable to source paediatric doses.

Officials did not provide specific numbers regarding child COVID-19 infections.

Dr Swann also said officials were still awaiting confirmation from tests sent abroad to determine if the Omicron variant is in the country.

 “I think there is a caveat to why the consideration is to children being at higher risk when it comes to the Omicron variant and our current timing,” Dr Brennen said on Tuesday night during a virtual town hall meeting. He was asked about the risk Omicron presented to children.

 Currently only children 12 to 17-years-old can get vaccinated in The Bahamas.

 “If we remember correctly, just in the timing of our ability to prevent infection, one of the big things that we have seen is that when we started rolling out our vaccination campaigns, we really started with an older population to do so.

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Dr Delon Brennen

 “We were seeing higher numbers of infections in general in older populations so it was a great strategy to do because vaccines have been approved first in older populations. So, the paediatric population really has not had access to the vaccinations for a very long period of time, even globally, and then when you talk about subsets of paediatric populations, remember children who are five to 11 years of age have really just had access in some countries to the vaccine.

 “Even here in The Bahamas we still don’t have access to those vaccines that are able to protect that age group of children and nowhere in the world do the children who are four years and younger have access to the vaccines.

 “So, unfortunately when you consider proportions of adults to children who are seeing infections with the Omicron variant we are seeing higher proportions or higher percentages of children being affected and having to be hospitalised and the like, and a lot of that is going to be due to the fact that they have not been afforded the same level of protection from vaccines when you look at the timing of when vaccines have been made available to that populous.”

 He continued: “So, that is a big concern for us and it’s one of the reasons the Ministry of Health continues to push as much as possible to making sure that we try to get vaccines that are safe to use in those populations and making them available to the Bahamian public and the children of our society.”

 For this reason, Dr Brennen said it was the focus of health officials to ensure there were rules and regulations in place to protect children, especially with regard to the opening of schools.

“We’ve had strong opinions and strong decisions that have been made throughout the policy level decision making that has been made in county to make sure that we put rules and regulations in place in order to make sure that we protect that level of the populous as well and so we get a lot of feedback about why children have not necessarily been able to get into schools and the like.

 “The reasoning is we are seeing those higher levels of infections in children and we need to make sure that we put them into those types of spaces in a manner that allows them to do so safely so that we don’t increase their risk and then end up with higher levels of disease in that population and then end up with more needing to be hospitalised as well.

 “So, we need to make sure that we put those things in place and that we protect that populous as much as possible but we want to make sure that we do so safely so that’s why we’re seeing the ever-changing numbers of infections, but also the policy making decisions to go along with it as well.”

 Dr Brennen also noted that even with rules, the risk of children contracting COVID-19 at school could not be completely eliminated.

 “We know that putting them into a space, especially indoor spaces, is going to increase their risk so we have to do so safely and so a part of that strategy has to include making sure that we don’t have overcrowding in classroom spaces, we take advantage of outdoor educational spaces as much as possible.

 “We’ve been blessed with a climate that allows us to do more things outdoors without having to be inside the classrooms so we need to take as much advantage of that as we can.

 “We want to make sure that if you have to be indoors that you have good ventilation that will include keeping doors and windows open when possible and then making sure there is as much fresh air in as possible. If there is an air-condition or HVAC system, we need to make sure that all of that is incorporated but you know you have strategies where some children are able to come in and others are not. Where you have smaller numbers of children within individual classrooms at a time.

 “All of those are strategies that will help to make it safer, but there is no way to make it absolutely safe. There is always going to be some level of risk that is taken on by allowing children to come into a school space,” Dr Brennen said.

Comments

tribanon 4 days, 7 hours ago

Brennen and others like him are CCP/WHO/PAHO owned.

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Emilio26 4 days, 6 hours ago

Tribanon are you a medical doctor or some sort of medical professional for you to be criticizing the data & medical advise that Dr. Darville, Dr. Brennan and Dr. Nikkiah Forbes has given? You see I realize that you always have something negative to say about what Dr.Darville and other health professionals are doing to help combat this fourth wave of COVID-19 but you yourself don't know a damn thing.

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whogothere 4 days, 6 hours ago

What wave? There’s no death? Inconclusive hospitalization? What everyone can see is a desperate attempt to rehash scientifically redundant medical policies that have failed in every ‘wave’… on the subject of child’s risk to COVID theres nothing to talk about. Schools should be open now. Masks (n95 only) should be optional and recommended only for persons/kids with underlying conditions or obesity. That’s what data shows around the world..it’s over

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ohdrap4 4 days, 6 hours ago

  1. Dr. Darville or Dr. Swann ,are not in the same bubble as Drs. Brennen, Forbes and Sands. So your second sentence makes me think you used to write for the Punch.

  2. Since when is this a forum for doctors only?

  3. But I do agree with you, to be owned by CCP/WHO/PAHO is a negative, very negative thing.

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Dawes 4 days, 5 hours ago

How do you expect people to be able to criticize the data when they don't release any? It clearly says that there is a rise in cases of children but then goes on to say they have not released any data. They are only saying this to tie in with the schools not being open, this way they can blame the kids not being vaccinated on that. Even though most countries have schools open and most kids under 11 are not vaccinated.

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ThisIsOurs 4 days, 5 hours ago

The data collection has not been good. And this is not uncommon in disaster scenarios. The primary focus is always on saving lives. The irony is, in time, the realization always comes that good data saves lives. To that extent, progressive economies focus quite a bit of resources on defining what needs to be collected. Iram Lewis told us his Disaster Ministry had completed this planning for every disaster scenario. We see the results.

Last year Dr Wesley..I cant recall his last name, told us he took the initiative to produce a COVID report because it wasnt being done. He also told us some of the information he wanted to report just wasnt available because it was never collected

This is not "negativity". This is fact.

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ohdrap4 4 days, 6 hours ago

Dr Brennen also noted that even with rules, the risk of children contracting COVID-19 at school could not be completely eliminated.

Is there a zero covid policy in the making?

A covid karen in Texas was drving her son and when he coughed, she put him in the car trunk and took him get tested. She was charged with child neglect.

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ThisIsOurs 4 days, 6 hours ago

Hmmm I dont know if I follow this logic.

The first thing we notice about Omicron is its very contagious and it doesnt appear to matter whether you're vaccinated or not.

Second we know from general knowledge that children especially the young ones are the perfect petri dishes. They touch everything, put their hands in their mouth, wipe their eyes, play in dirt and do not understand social distancing

Third since more adults are being infected, it follows that more children will be tested as a matter of course.

Fourth, most homes contain more children than adults

All of these non vaccinate everybody considerations could explain the higher percentage of children being infected

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whogothere 4 days, 6 hours ago

Agreed - testing way way up…antigen pricing way way down…there’s just a bigger net being cast..

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ThisIsOurs 4 days, 5 hours ago

I should also qualify that where a child tested positive I'm going on the "assumption" that in the majority of cases, an adult in the home participated in mandatory work place testing testing positive, therefore the child was tested as a contact of the adult. Under that assumption, because more adults tested positive in like period, more child contacts tested positive

As to "assumptions" in genetal, clearly that's all even the CDC has to go on.

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joeblow 4 days, 6 hours ago

... so what if there are increased rates of infection in children, THERE AREN'T ANY DEATHS!!! Giving them a jab WON'T stop them from getting infected, but might have adverse effects on their developing immune systems. Leave them alone, there are a number of therapeutics than can be used to help with their symptoms.

Its sad they don't seem to have one critical thinker in the MOH!

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bahamianson 4 days, 6 hours ago

So open the schools next week or wait until the surge subsides

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whogothere 4 days, 6 hours ago

Interesting data here:

Persons who had received two doses of the #COVID19 vaccine had serum that poorly neutralized omicron. Those who had recovered from infection and then vaccinated, or who had been vaccinated and had breakthrough, had high levels of neutralizing activity.

https://nej.md/3G2pxBs">https://nej.md/3G2pxBs

In sum natural infection gives ‘the goods’ - vaccination not so much..to be fair this study didn’t look at boosters but there’s growing evidence that boosting with outdated vaccines from the original strain is going to have diminished returns of protection…. The Who has said as much…

Our kids getting infected might be a good thing, given the collateral damage on hospitalization is avoided…again it’s time to end the charade and return to life as normal for our kids more than anyone or anything else…

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ohdrap4 4 days, 6 hours ago

To counter this observation the CDC prepared a broad sheet to demonstrated that the vaccinated and boosted who died of omicron had for or more risk factors.

The way this is going they will say the vaccine failed for those who had toenail fungus.

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whogothere 4 days, 5 hours ago

This is pretty new..haven't seen the counter argument yet. Basically this argues neutralisation of omicron is consistently dependent on previous infection as opposed to vaccination...I'm sure they 'll come up with something soon..lol

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TalRussell 4 days, 5 hours ago

Please comrades, in whatever de name youse whispers to as youse Jehovah, during life's most stressing periods, we must draw nearer, when talking about protecting de most vulnerable we colony, de children's', wellness and everything else like this and that, ― Yes?

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whogothere 4 days, 4 hours ago

yes we must protect our kids most particularly against medical protocols that don't work against de virus that does nothing to de children's wellness but may have destroyed da life outcomes of many...

the track and field stars hoping for that scholarship..kids that in 24 months absence of school drop out to try get a job instead...our kindergarteners that can't see their teachers mouth to dephipher learning cues or develop handwriting skills...the kids exposed greater child abuse...

Yes the definition of societal health should be based on the quality of life and educational opportunities and experiences our children enjoy..not the number of positive tests on the dashboard..

Mr Russell yes it's time for a change in priorities and metrics..

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TalRussell 4 days, 4 hours ago

Think is obvious most astutely literate readers of Tribune's blog pages, that Comrade Who, has no Jehovah to whisper to, ― Yes?

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whogothere 4 days, 3 hours ago

In god I trust, in government not so much… Right? - or left?

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JokeyJack 4 days, 5 hours ago

"...and a lot of that is going to be due to the fact that they have not been afforded the same level of protection from vaccines..."

This is incorrect. They have been afforded the same level ZERO protection as anyone jabbed. Everyone is getting sick, jabbed and unjabbed. I've heard that a lot of babies have been born naked if their mother was unvaccinated. Is that true? Where's the outrage and fear over that? Is there any other stupid thing we can get worked up about?

Governments are not allowing doctors to cure people wuth Ivermectin (which stops Covid in just 4 hours), and we all run around saying people are getting sick and dying. Yes, without medication they are.

Maybe we can make kids under 12 sleep outside with the dogs? Good idea? Why not. Stupidity is the new fad.

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carltonr61 4 days, 4 hours ago

Juan on The Revolution @ Guardian throwing the flame under their feet using their own Frankenstein science.

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ted4bz 4 days, 3 hours ago

They are not going to stop until they lie us all in the grave.

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whogothere 4 days, 2 hours ago

EMA joins the warning chorus against boosters...All you boosted peeps should be sweating a little...boost to fast and too frequent "you may have problems with immune response..." if they admit this much - what aren't they telling you...?

All of this sets up the end game though...even the CEO of Pfizer backing out of the boosting game..ditto WHO...Bahamas time to catch up...

https://fortune.com/2022/01/12/ema-wh...">https://fortune.com/2022/01/12/ema-wh...

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ohdrap4 4 days, 1 hour ago

PFIZER AND THE CDC WANT YOU TO WAIT 75 YEARS.

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JokeyJack 4 days ago

So is the vaccine actually a quackcine?

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joeblow 3 days, 20 hours ago

... the simple answer is YES!! The jab does NOT prevent infections! and children generally recover without any adverse effects!!

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