COVID-19 Delta Variant targeting more kids in KELOLAND


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — By next month, kids aged five to eleven could start receiving COVID-19 vaccines. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the number of new coronavirus cases in children is exceptionally high.

“We have seen critically ill children including those who need to be on a ventilator,” said pediatrician, Dr. Joe Segeleon.

Dr. Joe Segeleon takes care of sick kids at the Sanford castle. He says the doctors, nurses and other staff are seeing COVID-19 in both their general pediatric units, perinatal and neonatal areas and in their critical care units.

Tom Hanson: You said you have kids in the hospital right now with COVID, how serious is it and what are you seeing, and what do parents need to know?

Dr. Segeleon: It’s a very serious virus and I think that one of the things that parents… First off, I appreciate you saying what do parents need to know because the first thing I would say to parents is to get yourself educated and informed by reliable sources. I think that is important for parents to make decisions about their children’s health. One of the things that concerns me is the Delta Variant was different in children- It was more contagious, about a third of all infections are now in children. In other parts of the country, they saw significant increases in pediatric hospitalizations particularly in communities that had a low vaccine rate.

And it’s not just the increase in cases among kids that has health officials worried.

“Approximately 175,000 children have lost a parent, grandparent or primary care giver to this pandemic. That’s a startling number to me, and it just goes to show you how broadly this pandemic has affected our population,” said Dr. Segeleon.

Segeleon tells us when the vaccines are made available to young kids under the age of 12, he will urge parents to get their kids vaccinated. It’s the one way to safely let kids get back to being kids during a pandemic.

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