Dr. Osterholm says vaccines for children under 12 requires "more research"

"You do not want to give a perception of shortcuts being taken with the vaccine safety and the dosing for kids"

Hospitalizations, especially in the ICU, are the highest they’ve been in 2021 per new data released by the Minnesota Department of Health on Wednesday.

Health officials continue to be concerned with the spread of the Delta variant of COVID and even children, largely unaffected by the virus in 2020, are now dealing with not just illness but deaths.

Michael Osterholm, Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, joined WCCO’s Chad Hartman Wednesday and says that this is clearly a different virus than we saw most of last year. Osterholm says almost all of the cases we are now seeing are preventable however.

“Well, you know, I think the challenge for me has been that in the early days of the pandemic, we didn't really have any other option but to deal with what we were dealing with,” Osterholm begins. “Since we had no vaccines, we had less understanding medically of how to handle it. What's really the challenge for me now is watching all these people die or become seriously ill.  At least in taking up health care resources, when in fact there's a vaccine that could have prevented that. The reason that they're in that hospital in that situation is one that basically they had a lot to do with it themselves.”