How to take care of your family from covid-19 this holiday season? 3:07
(WAB NEWS) – Covid-19 cases in children are up 32% from two weeks ago, according to new figures released Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
For the week ending November 18, there were at least 141,905 new cases among children. Minors accounted for a disproportionate share of cases, more than a quarter of all new COVID-19 cases, during the past week.RELATED
Children make up 22% of the US population. When the virus first became a known problem in the US in early 2020, children accounted for less than 3% of confirmed cases. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 6.8 million children have tested positive for COVID-19.
Cases for all age groups have had an upward trend in the last week. They had fallen rapidly after a wave in the summer, but have started to rise again and have returned to the levels last seen in August. This is something that was not unexpected, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, who appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” program on Sunday.
“We have a lot of viruses circulating,” Fauci told host Dana Bash.
With millions of people still unvaccinated, that “results in the dynamics of the virus in the community that is not only dangerous and makes vulnerable people who are not vaccinated, but also extends to vaccinated people because no vaccine is 100 % effective, “Fauci said.
The number of children with Covid-19 is still considered “extremely high,” according to the AAP report. This marks the 15th consecutive week that COVID-19 cases in children have exceeded 100,000.
Children are even less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 compared to adults, but in states that report hospitalizations by age, children made up between 1.7% and 4% of those who needed to be treated at the hospital for covid-19, which has remained relatively constant throughout the pandemic.
Only a small percentage of the cases of children with Covid-19 result in death. Six states reported zero child deaths from COVID-19 in the latest AAP report. In states that reported deaths in an age classification, between 0% and 0.25% of all COVID-19 cases in children resulted in death, according to the report. But 939 children have died from COVID-19 in the United States since the start of the pandemic, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Children 5 years and older are now eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer.
A study by Pfizer showed that the vaccine was more than 90% effective against symptomatic disease. Newly eligible children, ages 5 to 11, made up more than 42% of people who received the vaccine in the past two weeks; however, children in general remain the least vaccinated of any age group.
A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that two-thirds of parents want to wait and see, or refuse to vaccinate their children.
Vaccine experts Dr. Paul Offit and Dr. Jeffrey Gerber have been urging parents to vaccinate their children, arguing that without the vaccine, almost all young children will become infected. This was published in an editorial last week in the journal Science.
“Make no mistake, Covid-19 is a childhood disease,” they wrote. “While it is true that most children experience mild or asymptomatic illness, some will become quite ill and a small number will die. That is why children are vaccinated against influenza, meningitis, chickenpox, and hepatitis, none of the which, even before available vaccines were applied, killed as many as SARS-CoV-2 per year. “
CNN’s Deidre McPhillips contributed to this report.