Did we reopen schools too quickly?
Schoolchildren in Isreal have been becoming more susceptible to new varients of the coronavirus. The surge in cases in young children has led to the virus spreading to their already vaccinated families.
In the UK, children in primary school receive a flu vaccine that is sprayed up their noses. This is not done primarily to protect them from the relatively mild symptoms they may get from the flu– although that will happen – it is more so used to reduce the chances of them getting infected and becoming mobile virus vectors, infecting the adults around them. A child’s minor illness from flu could be lethal if transmitted to a grandparent.
Rushing to re-open schools.
In the early days of the Coronavirus pandemic, this low level of COVID in children of all ages led to some assumptions that it was because they rarely caught the virus. When evidence started to appear that, in fact, they did catch the virus, the question of whether they could pass it on to adults was raised.
Experts have warned that schools must be reopened with caution, amid emerging evidence from Israel and Italy that more young children are being infected with new variants of covid-19
Rise In Covid Cases in School Children
Pediatricians in Israel, which has climbed ahead in vaccinating its adult population, reported a sharp rise in covid-19 infections among young people. More than 50 000 children and teens tested positive in January—more than Israel saw in any month during the first and second waves.
Yuli Edelstein, health minister, told the Jerusalem Post, “We got a letter from the Israeli Association of Paediatrics that says they are very worried about the rate of disease in younger students.” Some experts in Israel said that the rise in child cases was due to the emergence of the more contagious UK variant, which has spread more easily among younger age groups.
Cyrille Cohen, head of the laboratory of Immunotherapy at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University and member of the country’s national covid-19 vaccine clinical trial advisory committee, told The BMJ that his figures indicated that, since the emergence of the UK variant B1.1.7 in Israel in mid-December, the proportion of new daily cases accounted for by children aged under 10 had risen by nearly a quarter (23%).
How can we recover and ensure we contain the spread of the Coronavirus in Schools?
You can read more about the rising rates of Coronavirus in schools here