News from the FDA/CDC

Children and COVID: Weekly cases top 200,000, vaccinations down


Weekly pediatric cases of COVID-19 exceeded 200,000 for just the second time during the pandemic, while new vaccinations in children continued to decline.

There were almost 204,000 new cases reported in children during the week of Aug. 20-26, the highest 1-week total since the peak of 211,000 in mid-January. The weekly count has now increased for 9 consecutive weeks, during which time it has risen by over 2,300%, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association said in their weekly COVID-19 report. Total cases in children number almost 4.8 million since the pandemic started.

Daily admissions of children aged 0-17 years with confirmed COVID-19

Vaccinations in children are following a different trend. Vaccine initiation has dropped 3 weeks in a row for both of the eligible age groups: First doses administered were down by 29% among 12- to 15-year-olds over that span and by 32% in 16- to 17-year-olds, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since vaccination for children aged 12-15 years started in May, 49% had received at least one dose, and just over 36% were fully vaccinated as of Aug. 30. Among children aged 16-17 years, who have been eligible since December, 57.5% had gotten at least one dose of the vaccine and 46% have completed the two-dose regimen. The total number of children with at least one dose, including those under age 12 who are involved in clinical trials, was about 12 million, the CDC said on its COVID Data Tracker.

Hospitalizations are higher than ever

The recent rise in new child cases has been accompanied by an unprecedented increase in hospitalizations. The daily rate in children aged 0-17 years, which did not surpass 0.30 new admissions per 100,000 population during the worst of the winter surge, had risen to 0.45 per 100,000 by Aug. 26. Since July 4, when the new-admission rate was at its low point of 0.07 per 100,000, hospitalizations in children have jumped by 543%, based on data reported to the CDC by 5,251 hospitals.

A total of 52,245 children were admitted with confirmed COVID-19 from Aug. 1, 2020, when the CDC dataset begins, to Aug. 28, 2021. Those children represent 1.9% of all COVID admissions (2.7 million) in the United States over that period, the CDC said.

Total COVID-related deaths in children are up to 425 in the 48 jurisdictions (45 states, New York City, Puerto Rico, and Guam) that provide mortality data by age, the AAP and the CHA said.

Record-high numbers for the previous 2 reporting weeks – 23 deaths during Aug. 20-26 and 24 deaths during Aug. 13-19, when the previous weekly high was 16 – at least partially reflect the recent addition of South Carolina and New Mexico to the AAP/CHA database, as the two states just started reporting age-related data.

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