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NIH Director: Delta variant attacking kids, some dying

Pediatricians are seeing more kids fall sick to COVID-19.

This development had not been widely seen over the past 18 months of the coronavirus pandemic.

Data from the Arizona Department of Health Services shows the delta variant is getting kids between and 5 and 10-year-olds sick.

“Some really are getting quite ill in the hospital, in intensive care units, and sadly we are seeing kids die from this,” said Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health.

Collins called the Delta variant a game-changer across the board, especially in children.

“Anybody that’s tried to tell you don’t worry about the kids they handle it fine, most of them do, but not all,” Collins said.

Vaccines have not yet been approved for kids under the age of 12. Dr. Collins said that masking up in schools is the best protection for unvaccinated kids.

“If we’re going to keep kids safe, that’s what it’s going to take,” he said.

Collins disagrees with the ban on mask mandates put in place in certain states like Florida, Arizona, Texas and others across the country.

“I think it’s local area school boards and mayors that need to be looking at this because it’s different across the state of Arizona and the country,” he said. “To have this be in the hands of those closest to the action makes a lot of sense.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics is urging the FDA to approve the vaccine for kids under 12. Collins said while getting the vaccine is critical, the data based, intentional actions taking place now is important.

“Kids are not just scaled-down versions of adults,” he said. “You have to be really thoughtful. I don’t want anyone to look at this when we approve the vaccines for kids and say it was rushed because that won’t help either.” Read more from KOLD News 13 here.

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