MIAMI – South Florida medical experts say they are seeing more cases of the omicron variant in emergency rooms, with patients who are too young to receive the vaccine showing respiratory symptoms.
Susie Gilden has two daughters, a 10-year-old who is already fully vaccinated and a four-year-old who isn’t old enough to receive the vaccination.
“I feel like COVID is closing in around all of us and over winter break it was definitely a concern,” said Gilden.
Gilden’s youngest daughter turns five on Wednesday and one of her birthday presents will be her first dose.
“I know that one shot in the arm isn’t going to make her less susceptible right now, but we’re moving in the right direction to finally have our family fully vaccinated,” said Gilden.
This is the case for many families with young children, as children’s hospitals across South Florida report seeing the highest number of positive COVID cases they’ve seen since the pandemic began.
Dr. Jorge Perez is a pediatrician with Kidz Medical Services who says the recent uptick in hospital admissions with omicron is something medical professionals did not see with the delta variant.
The good news, according to Dr. Perez, is that although there are more cases, most seem to be milder than with the delta variant, but children who are showing the worst symptoms are young.
“I would say younger kids... under the age of five, even under the age of two,” said Perez.
For parents like Gilden, now is the time to remain vigilant and make sure our youngest family members, especially those who can’t receive a vaccine stay healthy.
“I had to cancel her birthday party for Thursday because I don’t feel safe putting her or other children in that situation yet,” said Gilden.