What We're Reading: Pediatric Hospitalizations Rising; Experts Warn Against Rushing Vaccine; Aerosol Transmission

September 1, 2020

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)–related hospitalizations and deaths of children and teens are on the rise; vaccine experts warn against rushing a COVID-19 vaccine; 2 studies spotlighted the airborne spread of COVID-19.

Pediatric COVID-19 Hospitalizations, Deaths on the Rise

As cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) appear to be declining nationwide, a new report by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that COVID-19–related hospitalizations and deaths of children and teens are conversely on the rise. As reported by The Hill, the data set examined trends of adolescent transmission from May 21 to August 20, which showed a similar rise across states and a disproportionate hospitalization risk among Black and Latino children.

Ramifications of Rushing a COVID-19 Vaccine

With reports of increasing political influence from the US federal government on vaccines and therapies against COVID-19, vaccine experts warn against rushing a coronavirus vaccine before testing for safety and efficacy. CNN Health reports that decades of past history have shown negligence when rushing a vaccine, which could have substantial ramifications considering the already-growing distrust of vaccines in the United States. Notably, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD, said that his agency could consider an emergency use authorization for a COVID-19 vaccine before late-stage clinical trials finish if trial data show a strong benefit.

Studies Support COVID-19 Aerosol Transmission

Reported by CIDRAP, 2 studies published last week in Clinical Infectious Disease spotlighted the airborne spread of COVID-19 and need for efficient ventilation systems. In the early stages of infection, research suggests that patients can exhale millions of viral RNA particles per hour. Findings of one of the studies indicate that 81% of residents and 50% of health care workers at a Dutch nursing home were exposed to COVID-19 due to inadequate ventilation. Tying these factors together, viral RNA was detected on an air ventilation duct below another patient’s bed, warranting greater intervention to limit aerosol contact and maintain adequate ventilation.