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Coons calls for COVID-19 research in children as schools weigh reopening

Delaware News Desk

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, wrote a letter July 29 urging the National Institutes of Health to prioritize a pediatric COVID-19 research agenda, concerned with how little is known about the disease’s impacts on children. 

With many educators and students returning to classrooms for the 2020-21 academic year, the senator is pushing for more research into the long-term effects of the virus on the nation’s youth. Coons requested investigations into the influence of the virus on adolescents, more research on pediatric COVID-related health disparities, the social and mental health impacts of the pandemic on children, developing therapies and vaccines for youth and other pediatric COVID-19 related topics that lack a substantial body of research at this point.

“We write to ask the National Institutes of Health to prioritize research focused on the impact of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) on children and adolescents,” wrote Coons. “While preliminary evidence suggests children are less vulnerable overall to the virus than other age groups, there is still more to be researched as demonstrated by recent reports of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) linked to the novel coronavirus. Given the critical nature of this pandemic, we urge the NIH to commit to an appropriately focused SARS-CoV-2 pediatric research agenda.”

The full letter is available at bit.ly/33sZtPH.