Experts warn of the third wave of Covid-19 hitting India as early as September, with many fearing it could disproportionately affect children. According to Rekha Mittal, neurologist at Rainbow Hospitals, children would be a sensitive population by comparison, as many adults would have had the disease or the Covid vaccine.
“Third wave and more waves can always occur in a pandemic until it burns out or there is herd immunity. So far, our experience is that the majority of children who have had a Covid infection are either asymptomatic or had mild symptoms. hope the next wave will not be a serious threat to children,” Mittal told IANSlife.
“The treatment of children who develop severe manifestations of Covid requires specialists trained in pediatric intensive care, and the right equipment and support staff. We must certainly plan and be prepared for a crisis situation if it arises. We must not become complacent.”
How can an increase in the number of cases be prevented?
The expert suggests not to slacken our vigilance by enforcing Covid-appropriate behavior such as social distancing, the use of masks and hand sanitizing measures. “We should avoid crowded places like shopping malls, markets, gatherings etc. Also, the children will be indirectly protected if the adults around them get the Covid vaccine.”
Rainbow Hospitals successfully administered the miracle drug Zolgensma, which is also the world’s most expensive at Rs 16 crore per injection, this month to a three-year-old boy from Hyderabad this month. The Zolgensma medical miracle is a single-dose intravenous injection used in gene therapy to replace the defective SMN1 gene with an adenoviral vector.
When asked how important it can be to administer such an expensive injection skillfully, Mittal says: “Administering such an expensive and underused drug can be challenging. One must have full knowledge of how to obtain, handle and administering the medication. Also, one should have all the facilities to deal with the side effects if they occur, such as liver damage, decrease in platelet count, etc.”
Speaking about vaccination for children, the doctor said that vaccinations for vaccine-preventable diseases should go ahead on schedule for children.
“Rainbow Hospital provides a safe space where children can be brought in for vaccinations. Trials for Covid vaccination in children over 2 years old have started in India. Once the Covid vaccine is approved and available for children, Rainbow hospitals will be ready to administer the same to as many children as possible.”