Dayton pediatricians answer questions about children and coronavirus vaccines, masks

Gregory Braylock, RPh, pharmacy manager at Zik’s Family Pharmacy in Dayton.Dr. Roberto Colón, medical director of Premier Health’s Miami Valley Hospital.Dr. Nancy Pook, Kettering Health Emergency Medical Director.

Q: Can wearing a mask make it more difficult for my child to breathe? What if they have asthma or another medical condition?

Klatte: Wearing a face mask can sometimes cause a feeling of claustrophobia. However, numerous medical studies have shown that wearing a mask does not lower a person’s oxygen levels. Wearing a mask also does not increase the carbon dioxide level in the air breathed by the person wearing the mask. Carbon dioxide molecules are much smaller than infected droplets from someone with the COVID virus, so those carbon dioxide molecules easily pass through most fabric masks. Children with asthma can and should wear face masks as there is no medical evidence that wearing a face mask could make a child’s asthma worse.

Certain selected groups of children are not allowed to wear masks. These groups include children under the age of 2 and children who are unable to remove their mask without assistance.

Patterson: Healthcare, cabinet making and landscaping professionals wore masks for decades, long before the COVID-19 pandemic started in 2019. before wearing a mask became a political hot potato. Have we ever wondered if the surgeon, nurse, or anesthesiologist in the operating room spent hours performing our mother’s heart bypass or removing our child’s cancer, could not breathe? I have seen children survive with cancer and cystic fibrosis, a lung disease far more serious than asthma, playing with laughter with masks properly worn over their nose and mouth, without suffering the effects of elevated carbon monoxide levels, but able to to enjoy the precious blessings of living with friends and family, while protecting themselves and others. Multiple scientific studies and experience have confirmed that wearing masks properly prevents the transmission of various diseases, allows us to effectively get oxygen into our bodies and carbon dioxide, and most importantly, helps us stay as healthy as possible on our schools and throughout our lives. communities.

ExploreLocal school COVID cases near peak for second weekCaption

dr. Michael Klatte/ Contributed



Q: Is the vaccine safe for my child and do the benefits really outweigh the risks?

Klatte: Yes, the vaccine is safe for your child. COVID vaccines have been thoroughly researched, tested and evaluated for safety and effectiveness before being made available to the public. The safety monitoring of these vaccines is unparalleled compared to any previous vaccine in our country’s history. Being not only a pediatrician but also a parent, I am aware that children are our most precious gifts. As parents, we want to do everything we can to protect and protect our children. This is exactly why my child was vaccinated – because the benefits really outweigh the risks. I’ve seen firsthand far too many pre-teens and adolescents hospitalized with COVID-19 infection whose hospitalizations could very well have been avoided by vaccination. Unfortunately, these hospital admissions have continued to increase every day for the past month.

Patterson: The CDC estimates that in 12- to 17-year-old women, every 1 million second doses of COVID-19 vaccine could prevent 8,500 infections, 183 hospitalizations and one death. Every 1 million second dose of COVID-19 vaccine would prevent 5,700 infections, 215 hospitalizations and two deaths in 12- to 17-year-old men. I agree with the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Advisory Council on Immunization Practices, the WHO Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety and the CDC’s conclusion that the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks and that COVID-19 vaccines be safe to children 12 and older. I continue to encourage patients in my practice to understand the facts and make an informed decision to protect their families in every way possible.


dr. Alonzo Patterson grew up in West Dayton and his career as a general pediatrician has served children at the core of the Dayton community.

Credit: Lark Photography

Credit: Lark Photography

Q: I’ve heard that young people can get myocarditis and pericarditis, or inflammation of the heart, from coronavirus vaccines. How rare is this?

Klatte: When myocarditis/pericarditis occurs, it occurs more often after the second dose of a series of two doses of mRNA vaccine. This side effect is indeed rare. In a CDC study published in July 2021, of 22 million second doses of vaccine given to people aged 12-29 years from December 2020 – June 2021, there were 323 confirmed cases (0.0015%).

To put this into perspective, for the approximately 550,000 motorists in the state of Ohio under the age of 21, between 16,000 and 17,000 Ohio teens are injured in traffic accidents each year. If 3% of all teen drivers in Ohio are injured in motor vehicle accidents each year, while 0.0015% experience myocarditis/pericarditis after their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, those same teens in Ohio are 2,000 times more likely (3 divided by 0.0015 = 2,000) are injured in a car accident than they will develop myocarditis/pericarditis after receiving their COVID vaccine.

Patterson: Many of the potential complications or side effects of vaccination occur every day, of course. Myocarditis/pericarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle or lining over the heart), has historically occurred at a rate of 100-220 cases per million people and is more common in men. Ongoing research shows that there are very rare cases of myocarditis and pericarditis after mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) that occur most often in younger men (12-25 years) and after the second dose, usually within a few days. In 12 to 17 year olds, the incidence of myocarditis/pericarditis is 67 cases per million second doses of vaccine in men and nine cases per million second doses in women. Of the 323 confirmed cases at the end of June 2021, none had died and those affected improved within two weeks of treatment with common, well-tolerated, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Remember that myocarditis/pericarditis also occurs after COVID-19 infections.

ExploreLocal doctors answer reader questions about coronavirus vaccines

Q: What is the risk of heart inflammation from COVID-19 for a child?

Klatte: In a recent study of people under the age of 20 diagnosed with COVID-19, the adjusted rate of myocarditis/pericarditis per 1 million cases of COVID-19 infection was 328 (or 0.03% [328 divided by 1 million]). While 0.03% may not seem like much, keep in mind that it is still 20 times greater than the 0.0015% risk associated with myocarditis/pericarditis after vaccination.

Patterson: Myocarditis/pericarditis is estimated to occur 876 times in one million cases of COVID-19 infections in men aged 12-17 years and 213 times in one million COVID-19 infections in women of that age. So it seems that myocarditis/pericarditis is much more likely after infection by COVID-19 than after vaccination to prevent COVID-19.

DiscoverFrom vaccines to ivermectin, local experts answer readers’ corona questions

Do you have questions about COVID-19, face masks, vaccines, testing, quarantine or anything else related to pandemic? Send them to The answers will be published regularly in print and online.

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