This is taken from Brief 19, a COVID-19 publication by doctors on the frontlines.
On December 20th, a "new" strain of the SARS-CoV-2 started making global headlines. Public Health England (an agency in the United Kingdom which carries out many of the functions that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does in the US) emphasized that this new version of the virus does not seem to cause more severe disease nor higher mortality rates. The concern is that this variant spreads faster than the "usual" strain of SARS-CoV-2. It also appears that children are more susceptible to this iteration, which has ramped up concerns but in the UK and around the world.
Children have never been immune to the novel coronavirus, but when kids come into contact with it, the virus less frequently enters the lungs and causes less significant disease, owing to differences between the respiratory tracts (as covered in Brief19) and lungs of children and adult. Changes in B.1.1.7 viral variant apparently make it easier for the virus to circumvent the advantages children have had in staving off clinical impactful covid-19 disease. The concern is that this new virus could cause symptoms and complications more frequently, though that has not yet been determined.
And the conclusion:
Before you panic, it is important to remember sly mutations like this are a typical part of the viral playbook. Also, the vaccines being rolled out were developed to account for the likelihood that small shifts in viral proteins would occur. Therefore, the current versions of the vaccines are likely to retain their ability to neutralize the virus and prevent most disease. However, this strain may yet change how most people view children as viral vectors and force policymakers to reassess safety in schools. One thing is certain: no mutation can evade the effect of the simple public health measures that experts have been emphasizing. Make it your New Year's Resolution to maintain safe physical distancing, wash your hands, and wear a mask. These precautions can still outsmart this prevalent pathogen, no matter how many mutations it accrues.
– Joanna Parga-Belinkie, MD
Seems like sound advice from Doctor Parga-Belinkie.