The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting child health as children are increasingly becoming vulnerable as healthcare authorities prioritize adult wellbeing. My childhood health experiences have allowed me to gather critical information to help address infection rates among children as the world awaits an effective vaccination. In this regard, embracing trained immunity is an effective evidence-based practice (EBP) approach due to its efficiency. Therefore, trained immunity is a viable EBP protocol to address rising COIVD-19 children infection rates.
COVID-19 infection rates among children are increasingly becoming a significant concern among healthcare professionals. According to Faber (2020), even as nurses struggle to comprehend and address COVID-19 infections in children, a new threat has emerged in children struggling with COVID-19. Faber (2020) asserts that Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome (PIMS) is an immune response to previous infections like COVID-19. Common PIMS symptoms include cracked lips, persistent fever, myocarditis, rash, abdominal pain, among other complications (Faber, 2020). The emerging threat comes after the Centers for Disease Control reported the escalation of COVID-19 children infection rates in the United States beginning March 2020 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2020). Also, there is a lack of adequate information on children’s infection statistics due to the prioritization of adult testing and inadequate widespread testing mechanisms. Many nurses are experiencing challenging situations in the fight against a new healthcare threat. For instance, Lynn Deutsch recalls feeling guilty because her colleagues working at the forefront to save COVID-19 patients’ lives had children at home and thus put the children at great contraction risk (“Lived Experiences,” 2020). Similarly, I also put my loved ones at risk while trying to resuscitate critically ill COVID-19 patients. Thus, COVID-19 children infection rates are presenting healthcare professionals with a new PIMS threat.
Further, trained immunity is an effective EBP proposal to address COVID-19 children infection rates. According to Dhochak, Singhal, Kabra, and Lodha (2020), trained immunity steers the functional innate immune cells’ re-programming to an elevated state following prior antigen vaccinations or infections. Dhochak et al. (2020) asserts that countries that emphasize Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccinations are recording little COVID-19 related mortality and morbidity. BCG vaccinations are also associated with reduced older adults’ acute respiratory infections and decreased mortality in children below five years (Dhochak et al., 2020). However, BCG’s effectiveness against diseases does not surpass two years (Dhochak et al., 2020). Dhochak et al. (2020) conclude that trained immunity occasioned by constant live vaccines against measles, influenza, rubella, and other frequent infections, is a potential protective mechanism against COVID-19 children infection rates. Further, Geller and Yan (2020) conducted a literature review to ascertain the efficiency of beta-glucan and BCG vaccinations on immune responses. Geller and Yan (2020) found that using beta-glucan in prophylactic settings boosts immunity responses and suppresses COVID-19 symptoms. However, the authors recommend multiple clinical trials to corroborate their hypothesis sufficiently. Hence, trained immunity is a robust EBP policy to abrogate COVID-19 symptoms in children and reduce mortality rates.
Overall, COVID-19 infections among children are a growing concern to healthcare professionals. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention warned against soaring children infection rates from March, and healthcare authorities have no comprehension of this issue due to the prioritization of adult testing and inadequate mass testing approaches. Many healthcare workers at the forefront of the COVID-19 fight are also endangering their children’s lives. Moreover, PIMS is also an emerging condition that endangers the lives of children COVID-19 patients, especially in intensive care units. Following a series of clinical trials and literature review, various medical experts encourage the incorporation of trained immunity to address infection rates. Therefore, adopting trained immunity is effective in reducing COVID-19 infections and symptoms among children.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2020). Information for pediatric healthcare providers. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/pediatric-hcp.html
Dhochak, N., Singhal, T., Kabra, S. K., & Lodha, R. (2020). Pathophysiology of COVID-19: Why Children Fare Better than Adults? Indian Journal of Pediatrics, 87(7), 537-546.
Faber, R. (2020). Emerging pediatric inflammatory, multisystem syndrome. https://www.aacn.org/blog/emerging-pediatric-inflammatory-multisystem-syndrome
Geller, A., & Yan, J. (2020). Could the induction of trained immunity by β-Glucan serve as a defense against COVID-19? Frontiers in Immunology, 11, 1782.
Lived experiences during COVID-19. (2020). https://www.ins1.org/lived-experiences-during-covid-19/