The new variant of the coronavirus, Omicron, is still being studied. Though there isn’t a lot of information about it, new findings indicate that it might be dangerous for kids. As numbers grow, so does the risk of infection in children. However, in the midst of research, the UAE takes precautionary measures to protect its children.
Omicron symptoms are milder in adults in comparison to symptoms of previous variants. Anyhow, symptoms that appeared in infected kids are severe. The reason behind this is that the virus targets the higher-up part in the respiratory tract, not deeper in the lungs like previous variants. Because the high part of the respiratory tract in children under five is very narrow, it gets clogged easily with the slightest degree of inflammation. Ultimately, that leads to very violent and harsh coughs that sound like barking, and it’s called croup. It could also lead to bronchiolitis, which is a lower respiratory tract infection for kids.
The problem is, vaccinations are not abundant for children. Currently, children aged six months to three years old do not have approved vaccine shots, and there’s no confirmed date on when there will be one. For now, countries all around the world are expanding vaccination campaigns to include children. But what is the United Arab Emirates doing?
Doctors have reported that the number of infected children is getting higher. As a result, 30 schools in Dubai went back to studying from home until at least Jan. 17. Parents are supportive of this idea as they’re fear-stricken about the health of their children.
Actually, that has been the case for most of the past two years. With kids staying indoors for too long, their immune systems were ought to get weaker. “It is encouraged that children rejoin social activity gradually and follow health and safety precautions to defend their exposure to diseases and build their immune system,” said Dr. Rania Khairy Ammar about how to strengthen kids’ immune systems.
Back in Aug. 2021, the UAE approved the Sinopharm vaccine for children. It is abundant in the country now, and children as young as three years old can take the two-dose vaccination. Countless lives are being threatened daily, but the UAE is taking precautionary measures to protect its kids.