According to pediatricians, coronavirus cases in children have increased by 32 percent since a little more than two weeks ago. The increase coincides with the country’s rush to inoculate children ahead of the winter holiday season.
According to a joint statement released on Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, more than 140,000 children tested positive for the coronavirus between November 11 and November 18, an increase from 107,000 in the week ending November 4, according to the statement.
According to the statement, these cases accounted for approximately a quarter of the country’s caseload for the week. Children under the age of 18 account for approximately 22 percent of the population of the United States.
Are there any reasons to be concerned? According to Dr. Sean O’Leary, vice chair of the Academy’s infectious diseases committee, “absolutely.” “The fact that there is an increase in cases overall is what is driving the increase of coronavirus cases in children.”
As a result of the vaccines becoming widely available to adults, children have become a larger proportion of overall cases, according to Dr. O’Leary, who also serves as a professor of paediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Children’s Hospital Colorado, among other positions.
Despite the fact that of coronavirus cases in children are less likely than adults to suffer from severe COVID-related illness, they are still at risk and can also spread the virus to adults. Experts have cautioned that children should be immunised to protect against the possibility of long-term symptoms, Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome, and hospitalisation in the future.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of the end of October, approximately 8,300 American children ages 5 to 11 had been hospitalised with Covid, with at least 172 deaths, out of a total of more than 3.2 million hospitalizations and 740,000 deaths nationwide.
Hospitalizations and deaths among children aged 5 to 11 were “really startling,” according to Dr. Janet Woodcock, the acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, who spoke at a news conference in October this year.
Dr. O’Leary stated that the fact that many schools had relaxed their safety protocols in recent months did not help the situation.
“As a result, any protection that might be taking place in schools is not present,” he explained.
Schools are likely to remain open as a result of vaccinations administered to younger children. According to data presented at a C.D.C. meeting on Nov. 2, virus outbreaks forced approximately 2,300 schools to close between early August and October, affecting more than 1.2 million students.
Dr. O’Leary stated that he was particularly concerned about an increase in the number of cases among children around the holiday season.
With the rate of vaccinations among adults in the United States stagnant, states are rushing to encourage vaccinations among children aged 5 to 11, who became eligible earlier this month after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for that age group. The federal government recommended in May that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine be made available to children between the ages of 12 and 15. A month earlier, teenagers aged 16 and up became eligible in the majority of states.
On Nov. 10, the White House estimated that nearly a million young children had received vaccinations; 28 million are eligible for vaccination. Each injection is three weeks apart, and they receive one-third of the adult dose in two injections.
From what we’ve seen so far, the vaccines are far less dangerous than a bout of COVID, even in children, according to the available data.
Despite this, according to a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, approximately three in ten parents say they will definitely not get the vaccine for their child between the ages of 5 and 11 years old. Only about three in ten parents said they would immunise their child “immediately” if the opportunity presented itself.