September Leadership Update

Mark Scheurer, M.D., and Andrew Atz, M.D.
September 22, 2021
Young girl wearing a face mask holds a sign saying Vaccination Saves Lives

Dear friend,

It is hard to believe summer is officially over, although we have a few months of the best outdoor living ahead of us. Spending time outdoors helps mitigate the spread of COVID-19 but we need to remain vigilant about protecting our most vulnerable populations: children under 12 years of age and those who are immunocompromised.

We cannot stress enough that vaccines are the way out of this seemingly never-ending cycle. It is our fervent hope that you are vaccinated, your eligible family members are vaccinated and that you are encouraging those in your circle to vaccinate. The overwhelming data show that vaccines protect us, slow the spread and reduce symptoms if one experiences a rare breakthrough case. There is a direct correlation between vaccinated rates and COVID-19 infections; the higher the vaccine rate, the lower the new COVID cases. What remains a concern is the Lowcountry Delta variant spike corresponding with the beginning of a new school year. Our children under 12 cannot receive the vaccine and we need to protect them throughout this spike. Another alarming trend is the number of unvaccinated pregnant mothers who have dire complications from contracting COVID-19. As a reminder, the Pfizer vaccine is FDA approved, safe, free and widely available.

As we shared a few months ago, MUSC Children’s Health is one of 100 pediatric academic medical centers participating in the Moderna vaccine trials for children from 6 months to 12 years old. We recently initiated phase II of the study and anticipate vaccine approval for this age group by the end of this year or early 2022.

Amid summer and the Delta variant spike, we also started a new academic year and welcomed 22 new pediatric residents and 13 fellows. Additionally, we expanded our faculty by ten providers, of which 22% represent diverse populations. Provider diversity and inclusion must mirror the communities we serve, and we will continue to work toward breadth and depth across all children’s and women’s health care systems.

Stay safe and well. And, please continue your vaccination advocacy to protect our vulnerable populations. 

Mark Scheurer, M.D., and Andrew Atz, M.D.
MUSC Children’s Health