COVID-19 and children: here's what you need to know

Hospital beds in Illinois are getting harder and harder to come by, as there are nearly 6,000 people hospitalized with COVID-19 right now. But Lurie Children’s Hospital is offering help.

The Chicago hospital is currently treating kids with COVID. They are separated in "isolation rooms" but are ready to help out, one doctor says, if need be.

“If other hospitals need our help taking care of their pediatric patients so that they can make room for more adults, that is something that has been done,” said Dr. Taylor Heald-Sargent.

Dr. Taylor says they can also isolate part of the hospital if necessary for COVID patients, if it comes to that.

During a Facebook live video, the doctor said they are seeing the virus in kids but in a different way than adults.

“Kids seem to not have the active infection being their main problem. It’s something to do with their immune system,” Dr. Taylor said.

She says some children develop a rare pediatric inflammatory illness, like Kawasaki disease, high fever and rash, but most survive.

The doctor says yes, kids can transmit the virus but again, data shows, not like adults.

“There haven’t been too many reports of very young kids having these huge spreading events, super spraeder events,” Dr. Taylor said.

Finally, can infants, kids and teens take the vaccines currently in development?

“There are plans for some of the vaccines to be trialed in children, but as common, things are done in adults first before moving on to kids,” Dr. Taylor said.

Pfizer only recently started a trial with kids as young as 12, but there are no results.

The doctor says, as with everything related to COVID-19, more research is needed about kids and the vaccine. In the meantime, she says, wear your mask.