Kids, Delta, and Household COVID-19 Transmission

And some thoughts about vaccination in D.C. too.

I think we’ll look back on the belief that ‘kids don’t spread COVID’, and realize that it was very stupid (and was partly based on data from a time period where kids weren’t congregating–if they got COVID-19, it was usually from a household adult). Recent data from the UK bear this out. A recent study from Public Health England found that household transmission was 66 percent more likely if a member of the household was infected with the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) than with the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7)–remember that the Alpha variant is more infectious than the COVID-19 strains that were dominant in the U.S. until 2021.

But here’s the key point: the same study found that household transmission was 46 percent more likely if a member of the household was younger than ten years old. Not quite as bad as Delta, but still quite high.

I hope I’m wrong, but if vaccination in D.C.’s Ward 8 stays low, Ward 8 could be hit with a double whammy if we see a late summer/early fall resurgence*. Thirty percent of Ward 8’s population is under the age of 18, so to reach ‘herd immunity’, essentially every person twelve and older would have to be vaccinated. While we likely wouldn’t see death rates similar to those during the spikes in 2020 and 2021, reports from China suggest that Delta leads to far more hospitalization for the unvaccinated (though that needs more verification).

We aren’t vaccinated enough, especially in the at-risk parts of D.C. (and the country for that matter). We need to fix that.

*Unless vaccination improves, I don’t see why we wouldn’t, as travel increases and kids return to school (and students to college)

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