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So… how are you doing? I understand the answer may not be straightforward. The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has created exceptional challenges over the last several months. Please let me know how the Society can offer you support during this time and I pledge to you that we will try.

I thought this letter would be a good opportunity to highlight some of the important work done by our members relative to the pandemic.

Children make up less than 2% of the reported cases of COVID-19 in the United States. To understand the epidemiology and clinical manifestations of this disease in children, we need multicenter data. Dr. Gabriela Maron and colleagues from the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Transplant Network (PIDTRAN) created a registry to collect information about all COVID-19 cases in U.S. children < 21 years of age and to date, more than 1200 cases have been submitted by 106 centers. To submit a case or see a summary of cases submitted by others, go to https://www.pedscovid19registry.com.

While many children with SARS-CoV-2 infection have mild or even asymptomatic infection, severe cases do occur. To assist clinicians caring for these children, Drs. Katie Chiotos and Mari Nakamura led a team that developed treatment guidance for children with COVID-19. "Multicenter Initial Guidance on Use of Antivirals for Children with Coronavirus Disease 2019/Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2" was published in JPIDS on April 22.

Over the last couple of months, our understanding of the spectrum of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children has continued to evolve. In late April, physicians in the United Kingdom described previously healthy children hospitalized with a severe, multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children with recent SARS-CoV-2 infection. Since then, a number of cases have been recognized in U.S. children. On May 19, Dr. Monica Ardura organized and moderated a virtual town hall focused on Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) that was attended by 500 viewers. To see presentations by Dr. Ardura, as well as Dr. Philip Zachariah, Dr. Katie Chiotos, Dr. Nadine Choueiter and Dr. Adriana Tremoulet, click here.

Of course, the toll of the pandemic on children cannot simply be measured in the number of cases. Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported precipitous drops in pediatric vaccines ordered and administered. Now, more than ever, we need to support the work of colleagues who work on the front lines of pediatric care and are responsible for vaccinating children. Early this month, PIDS realized a long-term goal in launching the first module of Vaccine Education from Training to Practice. This is a free online educational curriculum designed for pediatric and family medicine residents, fellows in training, and anyone interested in vaccine education, including practicing physicians, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and others. Created by the Collaboration for Vaccination Education and Research (CoVER), the curriculum has been shown to improve vaccine knowledge and confidence when counseling parents about immunizing their children. The first module focuses on vaccine fundamentals and is available here. This work, as well as The Vaccine Handbook App, is supported by unrestricted educational grants from Sanofi-Pasteur US, Merck & Co., Inc., Pfizer, Inc., GlaxoSmithKline, and Seqirus USA, Inc.

The toll of the pandemic—personal, professional and economic—is too well known by all of you. I’ll close with just one more positive message. The last few months have highlighted the value of the pediatric infectious diseases specialist, our members’ many contributions in advancing science, educating the communities we serve, and advocating for children. Dr. Mobeen Rathore is a perfect example of someone who has spent his career advocating for children. You can read about him in this month’s Member Spotlight and consider reaching out to wish him well in the upcoming AAP election.

Elections for our own society are also coming soon. If you are interested in serving the PID community, nominate yourself for consideration in the upcoming PIDS election. The deadline to submit nominations is Friday, June 5th. More details can be found in this issue of PIDSNews.

As always, we look forward to your feedback. Stay well.

Kris