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As COVID-19 mandates lift, health experts are seeing a spike in children getting sick

During the summer, health experts say children are getting infected with the flu, para influenza, and RSV.

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Health experts are seeing cases of the flu on the rise as spring turns to summer.

"The Omicron variant, it sort of displaced the other viruses into an oblivion and now we are seeing a little bit of a resurgence of those viruses," said Dr. Raghav Tirupathi, the Director of Infectious Disease Prevention at WellSpan.

Dr. Tirupathi says he's seeing children get infected with the flu, para influenza and RSV.

He says the resurgence of these viruses could be due to previous COVID-19 mandates like masking and social distancing.

"All of which might have caused us to have decreased exposure to viruses which sort of immune boosters to help rev up our immunity from time to time," he explained.

Dr. Tirupathi says this may play a role on parents' decision to give their child the COVID-19 vaccine.

On Wednesday, FDA advisers voted unanimously that Pfizer and Moderna's vaccine is safe for kids ages six months to five years.

"I think definitely vaccination will play a big role because it separates the COVID-19 virus and it in turn might help establish normality with the respect to seasonality of not only COVID, but also other respiratory viruses," Dr. Tirupathi explained.

While this is a step in the right direction for the approval of this vaccine, Dr. Tirupathi says there are some parents still on the fence.

He believes kids receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is critical.

"For parents or for naysayers who say that a COVID-19 infection in kids is mild and it does not cause complications, long COVID is reason enough to get the vaccine," Dr. Tirupathi said.

If all of the regulatory steps are cleared, the vaccine for children could be available as early as next week. 

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