It is essential that schools remain open, but there are also risks involved, such as a possible increase in hospital admissions, even for the youngest children, the paediatrician argues.
Dr Isabel De La Fuente, from the paediatric clinic (Kannerklinik), is a specialist in infectious diseases in children. She agrees that it is essential to keep schools open, particularly seeing as the education of the youngest has suffered greatly during the pandemic. But at the same time, she also thinks that it is too early to lift the health measures, stressing that "the pandemic is not over yet".
The specialist does welcome the government's decision to offer antigen tests twice a week to the youngest children, as the variants currently in circulation are known to be more contagious in children. There are also indications that they may be more severe as well, but this still needs to be confirmed.
Hospital admissions are also a concern at the Kannerklinik, with a possible increase in the number of patients at the start of the school year, although the paediatric clinic does not expect an explosion in admissions. These new patients would be in addition to those already affected by the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) epidemic.
Some pregnant women with Covid-19 have given birth prematurely, which has "probably" compromised the health of babies and newborns.
"If the parents are vaccinated, it also protects the children," Dr De La Fuente stated, citing studies in the United States where more than 50,000 children have been hospitalised with Covid-19 infection.
The specialist asks adults to show solidarity with the youngest children who have already suffered too much from this pandemic: they must be allowed to go to school and have social contact again, but "not at any price".
Dr De La Fuente / © RTL