KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As COVID-19 case numbers continue to fall in the Kansas City metro, the trend is holding true for young people.
Doctors at Children’s Mercy Hospital say the number of children in their ICU continues to decline.
“We’ve definitely seen a decline in hospitalizations and the number of kids in the ICU. I hope it stays that way,” said Dr. Angela Myers, Director of the Infectious Diseases Division at Children’s Mercy.
Health leaders said their hope is that vaccines for children age 5 to 11 could be here by early November.
Myers said manufacturers of the juvenile COVID-19 vaccine already have 20 million doses ready to go as soon as they are given an Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA.
“It’s always possible that we will see cases rise again with a new variant strain. In addition, it’s also possible that we will see influenza cases starting to rise,” Myers said.
The incoming flu season is a question mark for kids and adults. Crediting masking, doctors say in the past year-and-a-half there has been zero flu circulating. Therefore there is a relative population of people who have very few antibodies against influenza.
As for healthcare, hospitals now have a different set of challenges. With COVID-19 case numbers falling, staffing numbers are also tight. It is an issue across the U.S. including at Children’s Mercy.
“There’s also been a huge amount of burnout that has happened related to just how hard healthcare workers have been working,” Myers said. “And Mercy is definitely feeling that pinch as well. We are actively recruiting and onboarding new people.”
Children’s Mercy Hospital has seen a decline in new positive cases for COVID-19 and RSV and although doctors say they are still treating more than a hundred of those cases weekly. They are still seeing those numbers come down.