Fear with the Third Wave Covid-19: Here’s how to protect your baby


With the increase in Covid-19 cases, the vulnerability of children cannot be ignored. But you can do your best to make your toddler as safe as possible.

The third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, driven by a new version of Omicron concern, is expected to peak in February 2022, according to a study by the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur. Experts have warned the country of the inevitable third wave. The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that the worrying versions of Delta and Omicron are “double threats”, causing a record number of new cases in Europe and the US, leading to an increase in hospitalizations and deaths.

The Indian government has also noticed a recent increase new Covid-19 cases and issued new guidelines to all countries to curb its spread.

Covid-19: Propagation of Omicron

The SARS-Co-V2 virus evolves over time to avoid natural immunity and vaccine immunity. Mutations occur at the genomic level. New variant Omicron it has been found to be highly transferable. Its doubling time is 1.5-3 days compared to 5 days in the Delta version. Omicron has 34 mutations per spike protein compared to 8 mutations for the Delta version. Is this why Omicron is more dangerous than the Delta version? We don’t know yet! It is certainly spreading rapidly across many countries. So far, it is known to cause mild to moderate illness. Although hospitalizations have increased the burden on health systems in many countries, low mortality rates have been reported compared to the Delta version. Many cases are reported to be asymptomatic, which is another reason why they are difficult to keep.

Covid-19: How is Omicron diagnosed?

Its diagnosis is similar to other versions – with RTPCR for SARS-Co-V2. However, the exact version is identified by genomic sequencing, which is technologically demanding. Once a variant is identified, kits for rapid diagnosis can be developed by observing a characteristic mutation.

Do vaccines prevent the transmission of Omicron?

All available Covid-19 vaccines alter the disease process. They reduce the severity of illness, hospitalization and death. After vaccination, you can still become infected with Covid-19, but proper behavior ensures that you do not get sick.

The role of the precautionary (booster) dose of Covid-19

Immunity against the vaccine weakens over time. Therefore, experts recommend additional precautionary doses to all first-line workers and people over the age of 60 who have co-morbidities. It will soon spread to the general population.

Help your children follow the Covid-19 safety protocols. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Covid-19: Does Omicron affect children?

Children in India are mostly not vaccinated and are just as susceptible to the disease as adults. However, most children are less likely to develop a serious illness. Most affected children may be asymptomatic or have mild to moderate symptoms. Affected children, however, can be super spreaders, spreading it to other children with weaker immunity, non-immunized or partially immunized adults, the elderly population, and so on. Some of them can get very sick.

How do we protect our children from Omicron?

No vaccine for children under 15 is currently approved in India. The best way to protect our children is to ensure that all adults in and around the family are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. This should include all household helpers, drivers, security, teachers, etc.

There is no shortcut to following proper behavior with Covid-19 – ensuring that children (over 2 years old) wear masks when exiting, respecting social distance and hand hygiene, will protect children from disease. This is especially important for people living in large housing estates and closed communities. Adults should be role models for children by following appropriate Covid-19 behavior throughout the community.

Also read: Children with serious illness are more prone to severe Covid-19 infection, the study shows

pandemic and children
Ensure that people around the child are vaccinated and protected. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Avoiding public places, following Covid-19 protocols when visiting hospitals or clinics, preventing large gatherings while children play outside, providing good nutrition, isolating children with coughs, colds or fevers, seeking early advice from a pediatrician are very important for preventing the spread of the disease.

Infants and young children under 2 years of age have an immature immune system and are more susceptible if no vaccines are available. Breastfed babies will receive protection against Covid-19 with antibodies transmitted by their mothers.

Ensure that all children receive appropriate vaccinations to prevent vaccine-preventable diseases.

Are Covid-19 vaccines approved for children?

Covaxin is currently approved for children aged 15 to 18 years. A few other vaccines are likely to be approved for children soon once their safety profile is established.




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