Child Covid-19 cases increased nearly 240% since July, pediatricians’ group says | St. Louis News Headlines
Covid-19 infections have risen “exponentially” among children in the US since July, according to data published Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
The group reported 243,373 new cases among children in the past week. While this is a decrease from last week, when 251,781 cases were reported, it is an increase of about 240% since early July, when children were responsible for 71,726 cases.
“Following a decline in early summer, childhood cases have increased exponentially with nearly 500,000 cases in the past two weeks,” AAP said in a statement.
The latest update comes as schools across the country are in full swing and experts have advised adults to get vaccinated to protect children under 12 who are ineligible for the vaccine.
As of Thursday, a total of nearly 5.3 million children have tested positive for Covid-19, AAP said, and children currently account for 29% of all cases reported nationwide.
Officials debate when childhood vaccines will be ready
As of Monday, 63% of the eligible population in the U.S. — ages 12 and older — has been fully vaccinated, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health experts and officials aim to have the vast majority of the population vaccinated.
President Joe Biden announced new vaccine requirements last week that were met with praise and criticism. The new requirements include a mandate for companies with more than 100 employees to require vaccinations or regular tests for employees.
According to Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a board member at Pfizer and a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, could give parents access to vaccines for children by Halloween.
He told CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday that Pfizer expects to have data on vaccinations for children ages 5-11 ready for the FDA by the end of September.
“The FDA says it will be a matter of weeks, not months, to determine whether they will approve vaccines for children between the ages of 5 and 11. I interpret that to be maybe four weeks, maybe six weeks,” Gottlieb said. .
CDC Director Dr. However, Rochelle Walensky said on Monday that the public health agency is urgently working on a Covid-19 vaccine for younger children, which it hopes will be ready by the end of the year.
In the meantime, the FDA warned parents not to race to vaccinate their children without agency approval.
“Children are not small adults — and issues that could be addressed in pediatric vaccine trials could include the need for different doses or formulations of different strengths of vaccines already used for adults,” the FDA said in a statement Friday.
Children are less likely to die from Covid-19
Children are much less likely than adults to suffer from serious illness or die from Covid-19. Of the states reporting hospitalizations by age, children make up 1.6% to 4% of patients hospitalized for Covid-19.
Of the states reporting deaths by age, children accounted for no more than 0.27% of deaths. Seven states have reported zero infant deaths. On Sunday, the CDC reported 523 deaths among people under the age of 18 in the United States.
Pre-teens and teens have the lowest Covid-19 vaccination rates of all age groups.
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CNN’s Jacqueline Howard and Madeline Holcombe contributed to this report.