Dr. Mona Amin is exhausted as both a physician and a parent.
On Friday, the Florida-based pediatrician and mom posted a nine-slide carousel of messages to Instagram in a desperate plea for parents.
“This is a tough time to be a pediatrician and mom,” Amin captioned the post. “This is a tough time to be a parent: We shouldn’t have to be in this place.
“Countries with no solid vaccine program are watching as we fill up hospitals around the country when vaccines are free at drive-through pharmacies. Swipe through to see why I’m concerned. And how we can make this better for our children. It is our responsibility to protect our children—and frankly we are failing them.”
The highly contagious delta variant accounts for more than 90 percent of COVID-19 cases in the United States, according to new data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Delta changed everything,” Amin told TODAY Parents. “It’s wreaking havoc on healthcare systems. This is the worst the pandemic has ever been (and) children’s hospitals are seeing numbers for COVID that we have never seen.”
In the slides, the mom and healthcare professional shared science-backed data to rebuke controversial claims that have surfaced about COVID-19 as it relates to children.
“The hospitalization rate is only 1% for kids, why does it matter?” one slide reads.
Amin explained, “These are children’s lives … any child sick — is a child sick. And I don’t want to see any more kids ill because of our mistakes as adults.”
Another slide responds to, “I’ll take my changes and not vaccinate myself. My kid will be fine.”
Amin follows up, “I hear you. I’m also not overly worried about my child getting severely sick with COVID-19 based on data, BUT the reality is some kids ARE getting sick.”
The doctor and mom to Ryaan explained to TODAY Parents that the United States is the country with the most access to vaccines and yet the most industrialized country with the highest hospitalization rate in the world.
“We don’t want to see children hospitalized,” Amin shared, adding that her plea came Friday after seeing an increase in sick children this week. “It’s a plea because it’s a huge issue. These children are coming from unvaccinated homes. Every time I see a COVID patient, every single one has an unvaccinated parent who brought the virus home.”
Earlier this summer, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended all children over the age of 2 wear masks when returning to school this year, regardless of vaccination status, citing the inability of most children to get vaccinated based on age.
“If you’re choosing not to vaccinate, that’s fine but masking and hand washing is not enough right now (to protect kids),” Amin explained. “Our duty is to protect them.”
Across the nation some summer camps have had to shut down due to COVID-19 outbreaks, and doctors warn it may be a forecast for the upcoming school year.
“I think unfortunately this is a precursor in some sense for the fall,” Ko told TODAY Parents, underscoring the delta variant’s highly transmissible nature. “It’s really quite surprising … you have a pathogen that’s doubled its transmissibility within a year and a half of being discovered.”
With rampant misinformation on social media, Amin aims to provide science-backed data to help parents navigate the upcoming months.
“We have to remember that everyone is doing the best thing for their kid, but when it comes to health and an infectious disease, you have to look at science and data,” she said. “That means looking at the experts who have spent their lives helping to eradicate disease.”