US pediatricians are sounding the alarm: More and more Covid cases in schools

Status: 05.09.2021 8:12 p.m.

Corona infections are increasing rapidly in schools in the USA. This is also due to the faltering vaccination campaign. The result is a heated discussion about the rights and duties of parents.

By Arthur Landwehr, ARD-Studio Washington

More than 1,000 schools in the United States have closed again as soon as classes have started after the summer vacation. Thousands of children have tested positive for the coronavirus, especially in states where vaccination rates are particularly low among adults.

Examples: In the spring, 15 percent of Covid cases in the United States were children. In August it was 22 percent, and the trend is rising. In Florida, more than 60 children with Covid-19 are currently hospitalized every day, and the numbers have increased tenfold. And in Georgia, every second corona infection currently begins in a school.

Criticism of vaccination opponents

It can’t go on like this, says pediatrician Paul Offit from the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia in a television interview. It is simply irresponsible of the adults if they do not get vaccinated and then the children suffer: “As an American, you have no right to become infected and then spread the virus. Just as you have no right to to run over a stop sign at an intersection, “complains the doctor.

But because the question of vaccination is so politicized as a whole, it is also so when it comes to health protection in schools. Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis had banned schools from introducing a mask requirement, and he even threatened school principals with wages cuts if they asked for masks: “When it comes to the health of students, I trust the parents more than the government,” said DeSantis. The governor failed in court – fortunately, says the head of the Miami school district, Vickie Cartwright: “It’s not about politics for us, it’s about a pandemic,” said the teacher.

“We have to protect our children”

With consequences for children such as the two-month-old Junior, who has been in the hospital in New Orleans for three weeks. His mother tells CBS that he was born with breathing problems and that is why he is so sick now. “Someone who can spread the virus has infected Junior. We have to protect our children,” says the mother. After all, they are the future.

As is well known, there is still no approved vaccine to immunize children under twelve directly. You shouldn’t rush that, says pediatrician Offit. Before giving it to millions of children, it must be clear that it is safe to do so.

But until the vaccine is available for the children, the adults have the responsibility to protect the children from the virus, adds the doctor.

Pediatricians are sounding the alarm – more and more students in the US have Covid

Arthur Landwehr, ARD Washington, 5.9.2021 7:20 p.m.

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