A commentary in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) from CITF Leadership Group member Dr. Jim Kellner, a pediatrician from the University of Calgary and Chair of the CITF’s Pediatric Network, and CITF-funded researcher Dr. Stephen B. Freedman, also pediatrician at the University of Calgary, highlight the importance of protecting children from the consequences of the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada.

Key conclusions

  • Delayed consequences from SARS-CoV-2 infections (e.g., multisystem inflammatory syndrome and post-COVID conditions) may have a greater impact on the health of children than acute illness. The burden of these should be considered and studied, particularly in the context of the Delta variant.
  • Because children under 12 are not yet able to receive COVID-19 vaccines in Canada, it is important to ensure vaccination of all those who are eligible and to maintain other mitigation measures, such as masking and improved ventilation, to protect children. This is particularly important given that a new school year has begun.
  • Although wearing masks may be uncomfortable, they do not substantially impact children’s ability to infer and respond to emotions and they represent an important safety measure that should continue to be implemented to protect children.

Dr. Kellner recently discussed these topics and more during two recent CITF webinars. More information about this topic is available on the CITF website.

Stephen B. Freedman and James D. Kellner. Protecting Canada’s children from the consequences of the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. CMAJ September 27, 2021 193 (38) E1500-E1502; DOI: https://www.cmaj.ca/content/193/38/E1500