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A health care worker testing a child for coronavirus in Austin, Texas, in August 2021. Photo: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Some parents around the U.S. are on the hunt for COVID-19 vaccine trials instead of waiting for FDA approval to get their young children inoculated, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: As kids return for in-person schooling before those under 12 became eligible for shots, it's created anxiety for parents who worry about the small — but very real — possibility that their kid could become severely ill, experience long-term consequences from or die from COVID.

What they're saying: "This is probably the most dangerous time in the pandemic for children," Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University, told Axios.

  • The Delta variant is highly transmissible and individuals are letting their guard down.
  • "We're at a very high level of infection overall and the larger proportion of the susceptible population now is children," Wen said.

Driving the news: Kids made up more than a quarter (26.9%) of new weekly COVID-19 cases nationwide, according to the latest data available from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  • Some parents are pushing their pediatricians to OK off-label adult shots for their kids, and demand driven by parental concern has made slots in children's vaccine trials scarce, per NYT.

Between the lines: The FDA said on Friday that it is "working around the clock" to support the process of making the coronavirus vaccine available for children under the age of 12.

Go deeper: Coronavirus cases up among children after start of school year

Go deeper

Nov 30, 2021 - Health

Omicron variant in the Netherlands before being discovered in South Africa

Travelers from South Africa are tested for the coronavirus on arrival at Schiphol airport, on Nov. 30. Photo: Remko de Waal/ANP/AFP via Getty Images

Dutch health officials announced Tuesday that they have discovered two cases of the new Omicron variant in the country dating back to Nov. 19 and Nov. 23, days before the variant's detection was announced by South African scientists.

Why it matters: Although the Netherlands announced that it had discovered more than 10 Omicron cases last Sunday, the discovery of these new, older cases means the variant was already spreading in Western Europe before Omicron's existence was publicly known.

Nov 30, 2021 - World

WHO advises people 60 or older to postpone travel due to Omicron

Travelers arrive for flights at Newark Liberty International Airport on Nov. 30. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The World Health Organization on Tuesday advised those 60 or older and other vulnerable people to postpone travel plans in response to the emergence of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Driving the news: The WHO said on Monday that the Omicron variant poses a "very high" risk and may be more transmissible than other strains of COVID-19.

Omicron variant detected in more countries

The Galeao International airport in Rio de Janeiro, Brazi. Photo: Mauro Pimentel/AFP via Getty Images

Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and South Korea on Wednesday became the latest countries to report cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. They followed similar announcements made in Brazil and Japan on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The arrival of the "variant of concern" in more countries underscores the difficulties governments are facing as they seek to reopen economies stalled by nearly two years of pandemic restrictions in the era of global air travel.