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ST. LOUIS – The Delta variant of the coronavirus is now infecting more and more teens and children in the St. Louis area.

St. Louis Area medical officials say about 20 percent of those infected with COVID in the St. Louis region are under the age of 18.  
Most of the individuals in the age group are unvaccinated. A Washington University infectious diseases specialist at Barnes Jewish Hospital says if you are unvaccinated, the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus will find you.

Dr. Steve Lawrence expects a vaccine for children under 12 to be approved by the fall. He says masks offer the best protection for children.  

He also anticipates new vaccines will be produced for everyone as new variants of COVID-19 emerge. 

“It’s going to continue to happen. This is what respiratory viruses do, they adapt over time, Dr. Lawrence said.

“It’s very possible, in fact, it’s actually likely that over time, the viruses will continue to mutate and develop either more contagiousness, easier to pass from person to person, and possibly even develop the ability to evade our immune defenses and to require new vaccines in the future.”

Dr. Lawrence urges everyone to get vaccinated for their own personal protection, but also the protection of others especially those who can’t get vaccinated right now like children under age 12.