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Weekly cases of COVID-19 in children topped 100,000 for the first time since early February, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.
A 29% increase in reported cases over the previous week brought the count for Aug. 6-12 to over 121,000, making it the worst week for new infections in children since Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, the AAP and CHA said in their weekly COVD-19 report. The recent surge in child COVID has also brought a record high in hospitalizations and shortages of pediatric ICU beds in some areas.
The 121,000 new cases represent an increase of almost 1,400% since June 18-24, when the weekly tally was just 8,447 and at its lowest point in over a year, the AAP/CHA data show.
On the vaccination front in the last week (Aug. 10-16), vaccine initiation for 12- to 17-year-olds was fairly robust but still down slightly, compared with the previous week. Just over 402,000 children aged 12-15 years received a first vaccination, which was down slightly from 411,000 the week before but still higher than any of the 6 weeks from June 22 to Aug. 2, based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccinations were down by a similar margin for 15- to-17-year-olds.
Over 10.9 million children aged 12-17 have had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine administered, of whom 8.1 million are fully vaccinated. Among those aged 12-15 years, 44.5% have gotten at least one dose and 31.8% are fully vaccinated, with corresponding figures of 53.9% and 42.5% for 16- and 17-year-olds, according to the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker.
The number of COVID-19 cases reported in children since the start of the pandemic is up to 4.4 million, which makes up 14.4% of all cases in the United States, the AAP and CHA said. Other cumulative figures through Aug. 12 include almost 18,000 hospitalizations — reported by 23 states and New York City, and 378 deaths — reported by 43 states, New York City, Puerto Rico, and Guam.
In the latest edition of their ongoing report, compiled using state data since the summer of 2020, the two groups noted that, “in the summer of 2021, some states have revised cases counts previously reported, begun reporting less frequently, or dropped metrics previously reported.” Among those states are Nebraska, which shut down its online COVID dashboard in late June, and Alabama, which stopped reporting cumulative cases and deaths after July 29.
This story originally appeared on MDedge.com, part of the Medscape Professional Network.