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11 sessions will help you stay up to date on COVID-19

September 24, 2021

Editor's note:  For more coverage of the 2021 AAP National Conference & Exhibition, visit

Unfortunately, COVID-19 continues to dominate the headlines and the practice of pediatrics. Therefore, the National Conference is offering myriad sessions to ensure attendees are up to speed on the latest information regarding the pandemic’s impact on children, families and pediatricians.

Following is an overview of sessions related to COVID-19.

Plenary sessions

“Disparities in the Age of COVID: Vaccine Access and Uptake in Communities of Color” (P3153) with Michele P. Andrasik, Ph.D., during Sunday’s plenary session, which runs from 10:30 a.m. to noon CDT.

Dr. Andrasik will review data on disparities in access and uptake of COVID-19 vaccines among communities of color. She also will examine factors driving these disparities and propose approaches pediatricians can take to address and alleviate them.

“Myopia Boom: How COVID-19 Has Advanced the Worldwide Epidemic” (P4152) with Kanwal K. Nischal, M.D., FAAP, FRCOphth, during Monday’s plenary session, which runs from 10:30 a.m. to noon CDT.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the prevalence of myopia globally. Dr. Nischal will discuss what pediatricians can do to prevent and control myopia and the importance of early interventions.

Livestream sessions

“Nonpharmacologic Strategies for Adolescents With Anxiety During COVID-19” (L2203) with Carol Weitzman, M.D., FAAP, from 1-2 p.m. CDT Saturday.

This session will focus on nonpharmacologic treatment of adolescent anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on social determinants of health, racism, caregiver well-being and remote learning. Dr. Weitzman will review screening tools and present cases to discern when nonpharmacologic, in-office, evidence-based strategies and/or referral are appropriate.

“Intersection of the Pandemic, Adverse Childhood Experiences and Social Determinants of Health on Children With Developmental Disabilities” (L2202)

with Jean Raphael, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP, and Adiaha Spinks-Franklin, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP, from 1-2 p.m. CDT Saturday.

Drs. Raphael and Spinks-Franklin will explore how children with developmental disabilities and behavior disorders are impacted by the combined effect of adverse childhood experiences and social determinants of health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Countering Myths and Misinformation About COVID-19 Vaccines” (L2402) with Paul Offit, M.D., FAAP, from 4-5 p.m. CDT Saturday.

Dr. Offit will provide practitioners means to discuss the importance of vaccines and the science behind vaccine development.

Council on School Health Program “COVID-19 and School Health: Lessons Learned” (VH1270) from 4:40-6 p.m. CDT Saturday.

Lisa Barrios, Sc.M., Dr.P.H., and Dimitri Christakis, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP, will lead a town hall discussion on COVID-19 and school health.

“Maternal COVID-19 Infections: Updates and Lessons Learned” (L3203) with Mark L. Hudak, M.D., FAAP, and  Karen M. Puopolo, M.D., Ph.D., FAAP, from 1-2 p.m. CDT Sunday.

Drs. Hudak and Puopolo will provide an update on what is known regarding maternal-fetal and maternal-newborn transmission of SARS-CoV-2. They will review guidelines and evidence to address rooming in, breastfeeding and management of the COVID-positive mother. Impacts of vaccination and vaccine hesitancy in pregnant women also will be addressed.

“Transforming Practice: Lessons From the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency” (L4403) with Susan J. Kressly, M.D., FAAP, from 2:30-3:30 p.m. CDT Monday.

Dr. Kressly will review innovative practice management changes that support access to care and efficient care delivery.

On-demand sessions

“Maintaining Quality and Keeping Patients Safe in the Age of COVID-19” (OD0260) with James Marcin, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP.

Dr. Marcin addresses challenges with quality and patient safety in pediatric primary care during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Surge-in-Place vs. Redeployment During the COVID-19 Pandemic” (OD0388) with Katherine M. O’Connor, M.D., FAAP.

When COVID-19 led to a surge of adult patients, the challenge of re-allocating pediatric staff arose. Dr. O’Connor, a pediatric hospitalist from New York City, describes the pros and cons of surge-in-place and redeployment strategies for pediatric providers.

“Using Research to Inform School Policies During the COVID-19 Pandemic” (OD0422) with Kanecia O. Zimmerman, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP.

The ABC Science Collaborative was developed to help school leaders make data-informed decisions about returning to school during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Zimmerman discusses the collaborative’s evaluation of the role masks, handwashing and social distancing play in the risk for spread of SARS-CoV-2 during in-person instruction and how these findings can inform policy decisions.

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