Transcript: Dr. James Versalovic on “Face the Nation,” September 12, 2021

The next is a transcript of an interview with Dr. James Versalovic that aired on Sunday, September 12, 2021, on “Face the Nation.”

MARGARET BRENNAN: We’re going to go now to Dr. James Versalovic, the pediatrician-in-chief at Texas Kids’s Hospital. Good morning to you.


MARGARET BRENNAN: So 25% of recent infections on this nation are amongst youngsters for the folks that you’re caring for. How are they getting contaminated? What are you seeing in your hospital with these children?

DR. VERSALOVIC: Properly, we’re seeing file numbers right here at Texas Kids’s all through Texas, and naturally, because the story unfolds throughout the nation, it isn’t only a regional downside, however a nationwide downside. We have seen a file 750,000 plus greater than three quarters of 1,000,000 youngsters contaminated since early August by way of early September. We’re seeing that play out right here domestically in one of many largest cities in the USA and the biggest youngsters’s hospital within the USA. The fact is that we’ve seen file numbers of kids hospitalized throughout this Delta surge. We have now seen file numbers of instances reported by the day by the week. We proceed to be on a excessive plateau and the fact is that we could also be headed to a different peak or to a different valley if all of us pull collectively.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Earlier in this system, we spoke with a former FDA commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who was predicting that you might probably see a vaccine by Halloween that is out there for teenagers 5 to 11. Do you agree with that timeline? Do you advocate to oldsters that when it is out there, they provide it to their youngster?

DR. VERSALOVIC: Sure, we actually are aiming for that timeline in October of this yr to have the info right here put collectively at Texas Kids’s as we proceed to work with youngsters. We’re nicely into section two-three, working with main youngsters’s hospitals throughout the nation and companions reminiscent of Pfizer and Moderna. That’s our purpose, October. We’re doing the whole lot we are able to now to maneuver these trials forward they usually’re shifting forward nicely. Kids are getting a distinct dosage, nevertheless it’s secure and efficient. To this point we’re on observe, and I actually would agree with Dr. Gottlieb that we’re doing all we are able to to get vaccines to youngsters within the fall. Within the meantime, use masking and different measures to maintain our youngsters secure and reassure mother and father that assistance is on the way in which within the type of vaccines for youngsters below 12.

MARGARET BRENNAN: For folks, what do they should search for of their youngsters? Are you seeing these infections develop within the type of a few of these syndromes, like MIS-C? Is that this a respiratory an infection of COVID? Who’s ending up sick in your hospitals proper now? And the way sick are they?

DR. VERSALOVIC: Properly, along with prevention, MARGARET, we have to proceed to emphasise to all mother and father and households the significance of well timed prognosis by way of testing. As soon as the kid is displaying signs, respiratory signs that could possibly be in step with COVID, COVID pneumonia, fever could possibly be shortness of breath, different signs. We have to be sure that youngster will get tested- that if that youngster has a identified publicity, getting well timed testing is so pivotal. It is the one means we are able to make an correct prognosis after which triage the care appropriately. Resolve whether or not that youngster wants hospital-based care. We all know the right way to deal with youngsters at this level within the pandemic. We all know that the overwhelming majority of those instances, greater than 98% now are as a result of Delta variant, extremely contagious. However we’re capable of care for these youngsters in a hospital-based setting. We all know that there are kids with underlying medical situations which can be placing them at higher danger for extreme COVID pneumonia, reminiscent of weight problems, Down’s syndrome, diabetes, pulmonary situations. However we do have medicines to deal with youngsters. We need to preserve youngsters out of the hospital and the fact is well timed prognosis is vital. If a baby wants hospital-based care, we do all we are able to to maintain them out of the pediatric ICU. The fact is that youngsters might have ICU-based care, and we’re seeing that as we speak. We’re seeing infections all through all ages group. Infants and really younger youngsters, school-aged youngsters and unvaccinated youngsters are getting hit onerous now. We’re seeing that influence throughout this surge greater than ever.


DR. VERSALOVIC: So, we have to proceed to remind mother and father, too, that past the acute an infection, we may have MIS-C three to 6 weeks after an infection. We’re seeing a spike of MIS-C as we speak.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Physician, good luck to you and thanks very a lot on your evaluation. We’ll be proper again in a second.

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