US pediatric COVID-19 cases continue to climb

Girl getting nose swabbed COVID test
Girl getting nose swabbed COVID test

peakSTOCK / iStock

Nearly 142,000 child COVID-19 cases were reported from Nov 11 to Nov 18, a 32% increase from the previous week, according to the latest update from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

"Child cases have declined since a peak of 252,000 the week of September 2nd, but COVID cases among children remain extremely high. For the 15th week in a row child COVID-19 cases are above 100,000. Since the first week of September, there have been over 1.7 million additional child cases," the AAP said.

Pediatric cases across the country have risen this fall as in-person school has resumed and the Delta (B1617.2) variant has become the dominant strain in the United States. Cases among children 17 and under are up 40% compared to the end of October.

With the looming holidays, federal experts are urging parents to vaccinate all children ages 5 and older now that pediatric COVID-19 vaccines are widely available. According to ABC News, approximately one third of US children ages 5 to 17 have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.

Pfizer says vaccine 100% effective in teens

In related news, Pfizer and BioNTech announced yesterday that topline results from a longer-term analysis showed that their vaccine was 100% effective against COVID-19 in children ages 12 through 15 up to 4 months after the second dose.

"These are the first and only disclosed longer-term data demonstrating the safety and efficacy of a COVID-19 vaccine in individuals 12 through 15 years of age," said Ugur Sahin, CEO and co-founder of BioNTech, in a press release.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom was one of the first officials to announce school mandated COVID-19 vaccine requirements earlier this year. Now, over 20% of students in the Los Angeles Unified School District missed Sunday's deadline to report their vaccination status and risk not being able to attend in-person classes, according to USA Today.

Under the proposed vaccine requirement, eligible students are expected to be fully vaccinated and upload their vaccination records before the start of the spring semester on Jan. 10.

Many aim for typical Thanksgiving

Two in three Americans will spend Thanksgiving with friends or family outside their immediate households, and about half say their gatherings could include unvaccinated people, according to an Axios/Ipsos poll.

Though 69% of those polled said they were concerned about COVID-19, only 31% deem seeing friends and family outside the household as a moderate risk.

Increased daily case counts continued yesterday, with the country reporting 93,878 COVID-19 cases, including 1,092 deaths, according to the New York Times.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID Data Tracker shows 59.2% of Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, 69.5% have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 18.4% of fully vaccinated Americans have received a booster dose.

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