Missouri pediatricians create a statewide campaign to curb increasing COVID-19 cases in children

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 9:16 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Missouri pediatricians and the Missouri Foundation for Health recently teamed up to create a campaign aiming to protect kids from COVID-19 by increasing adult vaccinations throughout the state.

The campaign is using the hashtag #KidDocsFightCovid in hopes to encourage adults to contact trusted physicians and get their COVID-19 questions answered.

American Academy of Pediatrics reports cases among children have steadily increased since July. A total of 121,427 pediatric cases were reported the week of August 12. In Missouri, children make up 11.5% of the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state.”

Multiple Missouri physician agree the spike in pediatric COVID-19 cases is alarming and must be taken seriously because of the Delta variant.

“There’s a general notion that kids don’t get sick, but it’s not true,” said Kayce Morton, DO, a pediatrician at CoxHealth in Springfield. “We’ve seen an uptick in the number of pediatric COVID-19 patients with serious illnesses. We have had limited to no COVID-19 beds in our pediatric ICU which is very concerning. I don’t want to have to send our kids somewhere far away for their care.”

Growing cases of kids with COVID-19 are putting a strain on hospitals statewide from Kansas City to rural areas to St.Louis. The Missouri Foundation of Health President and CEO expressed he understands people want to make their own choices and reiterates we could be entering the most dangerous point of the pandemic for kids.

“We understand that Missourians want to make their own choices, and we hope that in making those choices, they learn the facts and consider those who oftentimes can’t make the choice for themselves -- our children,” said Dr. Dwayne Proctor, MFH president and CEO. “We could be entering the most dangerous point of the pandemic for our children, and as the school year begins, we have to have a conversation about how to best protect them from a serious illness.”

Dr. Morton and other local pediatricians are teaming up to write a letter to school districts who are not requiring masks.

“We want to reiterate that this is what can save our kids from getting sick and keep others from getting sick until people are vaccinated or the kids are eligible for vaccines,” said Dr. Morton.

Hospitals in Missouri are also seeing an uptick in RSV another viral infection that is common in children according to Dr. Morton.

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