Total COVID-19 cases in children surpassed the 7-million mark as new cases rose slightly after the previous week’s decline, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.
, the AAP and CHA said in their weekly COVID-19 report. New cases had dropped the previous week after 3 straight weeks of increases since late October.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts the total number of child COVID-19 cases at 6.2 million, but both estimates are based on all-age totals – 40 million for the CDC and 41 million for the AAP/CHA – that are well short of the CDC’s latest cumulative figure, which is now just over 49 million, so the actual figures are undoubtedly higher.
Meanwhile, the 1-month anniversary of 5- to 11-year-olds’ vaccine eligibility brought many completions: 923,000 received their second dose during the week ending Dec. 6, compared with 405,000 the previous week. About 16.9% (4.9 million) of children aged 5-11 have gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine thus far, of whom almost 1.5 million children (5.1% of the age group) are now fully vaccinated, the CDC said on its COVID-19 Data Tracker.
The pace of vaccinations, however, is much lower for older children. Weekly numbers for all COVID-19 vaccinations, both first and second doses, dropped from 84,000 (Nov. 23-29) to 70,000 (Nov. 30 to Dec. 6), for those aged 12-17 years. In that group, 61.6% have received at least one dose and 51.8% are fully vaccinated, the CDC said.
The pace of vaccinations varies for younger children as well, when geography is considered. The AAP analyzed the CDC’s data and found that 42% of all 5- to 11-year-olds in Vermont had received at least one dose as of Dec. 1, followed by Massachusetts (33%), Maine (30%), and Rhode Island (28%). At the other end of the vaccination scale are Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and West Virginia, all with 4%, the AAP reported.
As the United States puts 7 million children infected with COVID-19 in its rear view mirror, another milestone is looming ahead: The CDC’s current count of deaths in children is 974.