FEATURE STORIES

WIRED: The Next Covid-19 Battle Will Be About Vaccinating Kids

Clinical trials underway now are testing the safety, efficacy, dosing, and timing of mRNA vaccines for kids between the ages of 11 years and 6 months; about 4,500 children are in Pfizer’s trial, and about 7,000 in Moderna’s. A Pfizer official said in June that the first request for emergency authorization should be sent to the FDA in September or October. (Johnson & Johnson is only now beginning trials in teens and has not yet included younger kids.)

Those trials are scattered across medical centers in the US and several European countries—more sites than were initially planned for, according to several principal investigators, because the companies feel it’s urgent to gather data and move toward approval as rapidly as possible. That's because, now that adults can get vaccinated, children make up a larger proportion of those getting sick from Covid.



Cold or COVID? Infectious disease experts say colds are coming back with a vengeance

"It's really hard to tell in most cases whether something is COVID or just a regular cold or just allergies," said Dr. Anne Liu, an infectious disease doctor with Stanford Health Care.

Several infectious disease doctors in the Bay Area we spoke with say this July, colds are coming back with a vengeance as people come together again.

"Rather than wonder whether you have COVID, if you have symptoms, the easiest thing is just to go ahead and get tested and put that question to rest," said Dr. Liu.



Here’s what we know about kids and long covid

When it comes to covid, kids have largely been spared. They can get infected and spread the virus, but they have little risk of becoming seriously ill or dying. Yet, just like adults, they can have symptoms that persist well beyond the initial infection. This condition, officially known as post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), is often referred to as “long” covid. 

It needs to be taken seriously, says Alok Patel, a pediatrician at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. “Even though even though covid itself—the acute infection—presented less severe in children, long covid is very debilitating, isolating and scary for families.”



Worried about your kid's development? Turn to your doctor before the internet or friends

(CNN)If you're worried about whether your child is hitting developmental milestones on time— like walking, socializing or talking— you might be relieved to know that you are like many other parents and that feeling worried is okay.

Nearly a quarter of parents suspect some degree of delay when it comes to their child, according to a new national University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital poll on children's health. But the nearly one in five parents who worried that their child was behind in hitting milestones didn't seek advice from a professional.



The Atlantic: The Only Way We'll Know When We Need COVID-19 Boosters

Midway through America’s first mass-immunization campaign against the coronavirus, experts are already girding themselves for the next. The speedy rollout of wildly effective shots in countries such as the United States, where more than half the population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, has shown remarkable progress—finally, slowly, steadily beating the coronavirus back. But as people inch toward something tantalizingly resembling pre-pandemic life, a cloud hangs over our transcendent summer of change: the specter of vaccine failure. We spent months building up shields against the virus, and we still don’t know how long we can expect that protection to last.



'U.S. News & World Report' Once Again Names Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford Among Top 10 Children’s Hospitals in the Nation

STANFORD, Calif.—Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford has once again been named among the top 10 children’s hospitals in the nation, according to the U.S. News & World Report 2021–2022 Best Children’s Hospitals survey, published June 15.

This is the 17th consecutive year that Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report surveys. Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2021, the hospital is the youngest institution among the top hospitals, the rest of which have been in operation for 70 to 165 years.



Rosenkranz Prize Winners Focus on Child and Maternal Health

This year’s Rosenkranz Prize winners are both working to better understand these severe medical maladies and eventually find interventions to help those women and children survive their pregnancies and live healthier lives.

Ivana Marić, a research scientist at the Stanford Prematurity Research Center, will use machine learning to analyze metabolites in maternal blood from women in Zimbabwe, Kenya and Bangladesh — with the goal of eventually developing a simple blood test that could predict preeclampsia, one of the leading causes of maternal death in these countries.

“This could make a difference between life and death for both the mom and the baby,” she said.


The 2021 President’s Awards for Excellence Through Diversity recognize a student, an associate dean, a professor and a Stanford Medicine program

A coterm student, an associate dean at Stanford Law School, a medical professor and Stanford Medicine’s Critical Consciousness and Anti-Oppressive Praxis Certificate Program have each received a 2021 President’s Award for Excellence Through Diversity.

Stanford established the awards in 2009 to honor individuals and programs that have made exceptional contributions to enhancing and supporting diversity within the university community.

  • Yvonne “Bonnie” Maldonado, senior associate dean of faculty development and diversity, the Taube Professor of Global Health and Infectious Diseases, and a professor of pediatrics (infectious diseases) and of epidemiology and population health at the School of Medicine.


COVID-19 hospitalizations among children likely overcounted, researchers find

Counting SARS-CoV-2 infections in hospitalized children overestimates the impact of COVID-19 in pediatric populations because such counts include many asymptomatic patients, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine

The findings were published online May 19 in Hospital Pediatrics. While all hospitalized children are now being tested for SARS-CoV-2, nearly half of those who test positive for the virus never develop symptoms of COVID-19, according to the study.


It's not rocket science - it's harder

In 2019, the Association of American Medical Colleges reported that medical school faculty across the nation were 84% white or Asian. At the time, 79% of Stanford’s medical faculty were white or Asian; only 1.7% were Black or African American, and 4.3% were Hispanic, Latino or of Spanish origin — despite the fact that these minorities make up about 32% of the population of the United States.

“You can’t tell me there isn’t a problem at Stanford,” said Bonnie Maldonado, MD, the senior associate dean for faculty development and diversity at Stanford Medicine. “The problem is, we often refuse to see it. But there’s no utopia anywhere. There’s no completely equitable and fair place.”


Why it's important to get the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccines available in the US are extremely effective, and with three that offer 66% to 95% overall efficacy, and even higher protection against severe illness and death, there's reason to celebrate. For comparison, the average flu vaccine is around 40% to 60% effective.

But this potency hinges on the fact we take the vaccine as directed, which means both doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer shot. (Johnson & Johnson only requires one dose.) Although the majority of people show up for their second appointment, some have missed the second dose -- around 8%, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at a recent White House press briefing.


Study helps Latino children manage obesity over two years

A three-year intervention designed to reduce weight gain in overweight and obese Latino children generated improvements in body mass index and many other health measures during the trial’s initial two years, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.


Eight Stanford Medicine scientists are among a group of pediatric cancer researchers being honored with the 2021 Team Science Award from the American Association for Cancer Research

The 2021 award honors a group known as the St. Baldrick’s Foundation-Stand Up 2 Cancer Pediatric Cancer Dream Team, composed of 74 scientists at nine academic institutions. The team conducts basic, translational and clinical research at the intersection of immunotherapy and cancer genomics for many types of childhood malignancies.


Children as young as 6 months old now in COVID-19 vaccine trials

As nearly 140 million American adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and we inch closer to herd immunity, vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna have moved on to the next phase of the fight against the virus: studying to see if the vaccine will be safe and effective for children.

“Children under 18 make up 85 million people in [the] U.S. – about 20% of the population,” Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, professor of pediatrics, epidemiology and population health at Stanford University, told ABC News. “Getting them vaccinated is a major contribution to reducing transmission of virus.”