At Ascension St. Vincent, it is heartbreaking for our pediatric providers and care teams to see children facing life-threatening medical conditions due to exposure to COVID-19, especially now, when this outcome could have been prevented.
As a community, we must do everything we can to prevent people—especially children—from contracting this virus. We must continue using a multi-layered approach to protect ourselves and each other as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most effective ways to do that are for every eligible adult and child 5 years of age and over to get vaccinated and to wear masks when indoors or in crowded areas.
The facts are simple and irrefutable. Vaccinations are safe and effective. Almost all of the patients being treated for COVID-19 across Indiana hospitals are unvaccinated. Breakthrough cases among those vaccinated are extremely rare, and these individuals almost never require hospitalization. Masking is proven to help reduce the spread of the virus.
Our providers and care teams face two heartbreaking realities today: treating high-risk children fighting COVID-19 and advising parents on the difficult decision to send children back to in-person learning or face another year of virtual courses. Both of these situations can be avoided if more of us practice all mitigation measures including social distancing, masking, hand washing and, most importantly, getting vaccinated.
Our children deserve a safe return to in-person learning. And all of us deserve to live and work in safe and healthy environments. If we work together, we can achieve these goals.
Dr. Steven Swinney,
Ascension St. Vincent chief clinical officer