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DENVER (KDVR) — Some parents of children under the age of 12 are feeling helpless because they can’t get their kids vaccinated. This comes as the country prepares to enter a fourth COVID-19 wave.

The Delta variant is causing a surge in hospitalizations where COVID-19 vaccination rates are low. Hospitals in Kansas City, Missouri, have been forced to turn patients away, FOX4 News reported.

Meanwhile, hospital capacity in the Denver area has not been an issue, but there is concern for children who cannot be vaccinated yet.

Young children still unvaccinated

“We’re out in the world … We’re going to restaurants. We’re going to grocery stores and playgrounds,” said Bruce, while playing with his young children at Denver’s Washington Park. “The pandemic seemed to subside for a little bit and made me feel more comfortable,” he said.

But now Bruce is rethinking family precautions when out in public for the safety of his children.

“I would want [my kids] to be vaccinated as soon as possible,” he said.

Dr. Reginald Washington, chief medical officer at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, is hearing the concerns of parents.

“People are rightly concerned that if their child has a symptom of fever, respiratory issues, diarrhea, headache — is this COVID or not?” he said.

Washington says vaccines adequately protect against the Delta variant. For kids, he said most who are infected will recover.

“There’s a small population that do not do very well and require hospitalization … and some have even passed away,” Washington said.

Despite the risk, not all parents who spoke to FOX31 are on board with vaccinating young children. They would rather wait until their children are older.

COVID-19 vaccine trials for young children are underway. Washington said we can expect vaccines available for children 2-12 somewhere in the fall timeframe. Until then, parents wonder: Should children still mask up?

“There’s a little confusion in that realm,” Washington said. “My advice is to wear a mask.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends masks be worn at school. Nationwide, a patchwork is forming of schools requiring masks and schools that are not.