Children and COVID: Downward Trend Reverses With Small Increases Children and COVID: Downward Trend Reverses With Small Increases

A small increase in new cases brought COVID-19’s latest losing streak to an end at 4 weeks, based on data from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

After the 57% decline in cases seen during those 4 weeks of September, new cases rose by 3.7% during the week of Sept. 30 to Oct. 6. The 40,656 new cases reported bring the U.S. cumulative count of child COVID-19 cases to over 14.8 million since the pandemic began, which represents 18.4% of all cases, the AAP and CHA said in their weekly report based on state-level data.

The increase in new cases was not reflected in emergency department visits or hospital admissions, which both continued sustained declines that started in August. In the week from Sept. 27 to Oct. 4, the 7-day averages for ED visits with diagnosed COVID were down by 21.5% (age 0-11), 27.3% (12-15), and 18.2% (16-17), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, while the most recent 7-day average for new admissions — 127 per day for Oct. 2-8 — among children aged 0-17 years with confirmed COVID was down from 161 per day the previous week, a drop of over 21%.

The state-level data that are currently available (several states are no longer reporting) show Alaska (25.5%) and Vermont (25.4%) have the highest proportions of cumulative cases in children, and Florida (12.3%) and Utah (13.5%) have the lowest. Rhode Island has the highest rate of COVID-19 per 100,000 children at 40,427, while Missouri has the lowest at 14,252. The national average is 19,687 per 100,000, the AAP and CHA reported.


Taking a Look at Vaccination

Vaccinations were up slightly in children aged 12-17 years, as 20,000 initial doses were given during the week of Sept. 29 to Oct. 5, compared with 17,000 and 18,000 the previous 2 weeks. Initial vaccinations in younger children, however, continued declines dating back to August, the AAP said in its weekly vaccination trends report.

The District of Columbia and Massachusetts have the most highly vaccinated groups of 12- to 17-year-olds, as 100% and 95%, respectively, have received initial doses, while Wyoming (39%) and Idaho (42%) have the lowest. D.C. (73%) and Vermont (68%) have the highest proportions of vaccinated 5- to 11-year-olds, and Alabama (17%) and Mississippi (18%) have the lowest. For children under age 5 years, those in D.C. (33%) and Vermont (26%) are the most likely to have received an initial COVID vaccination, while Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi share national-low rates of 2%, the AAP said its report, which is based on CDC data.

When all states and territories are combined, 71% of children aged 12-17 have received at least one dose of vaccine, as have 38.6% of all children 5-11 years old and 6.7% of those under age 5. Almost 61% of the nation’s 16- to 17-year-olds have been fully vaccinated, along with 31.5% of those aged 5-11 and 2.4% of children younger than 5 years, the CDC said on its COVID Data Tracker.

About 42 million children — 58% of the population under the age of 18 years — have not received any vaccine yet, the AAP noted. Meanwhile, CDC data indicate that 36 children died of COVID in the last week, with pediatric deaths now totaling 1,781 over the course of the pandemic.

This article originally appeared on MDedge.com, part of the Medscape Professional Network.