Is B.1.640.2 going to be the next variant of concern?
Question about at home testing kits: are they all reliable at detecting Omicron? I've read that sme of them are not, especially those that detect a single protein. Asking specifically about the iHealth test, which says it detects the N proteins.
At a population level, a bigger problem perhaps than disease severity in kids (though, as you rightly point out, that problem shouldn't be dismissed) is that a huge volume of pediatric COVID admissions will greatly reduce hospitals' ability to treat any number of other childhood ailments, and at the worst possible time of year.
It looks like we might have results for Moderna's trial in ages 2-6 by the end of the month: https://www.wsaw.com/2021/12/30/moderna-vaccine-trial-young-children-nears-finish-line/
The difficulty here is that the FDA hasn't even cleared use of Moderna in adolescents, despite results from that trial having been submitted last June. The holdup apparently has to do with the somewhat higher risk of myocarditis with the Moderna vaccine compared to the Pfizer one.
So, we could well have a situation where Moderna's vaccine is (unlike Pfizer's) shown to elicit an adequate immune response in kids under 5, but is nevertheless never approved due to the FDA's hesitance to make the vaccine available to an older age group.
I'd like to understand more about the pediatric situation. Putting it bluntly: do parents need to worry or not? Should we not be sending our kids to school, especially unvaccinated ones? It is extremely frustrating that the CDC is seemingly ignoring young children and their parents, so I have trouble knowing what actions to take and decisions to make.
Separately, are throat swabs necessary now? Here's one of a few sources reporting this.
I've heard reliable anecdotes that Israel was swabbing nostrils and throat at the airport a few months ago already.