Children and COVID: Cases Drop Again, Admission Rate Up Slightly Children and COVID: Cases Drop Again, Admission Rate Up Slightly

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The decline in new cases of child COVID-19 in the last week continued at about the same, somewhat slower pace as the week before, but admissions have moved upward slightly, according to the most recent data.

The total number of new cases came to 25,915 for the week of April 1-7, down by 5.8% from the previous week’s 27,521, which, in turn, was 5.2% lower than a week earlier, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, which have been collecting COVID-related data from state and territorial health departments since the early stages of the pandemic. New case declines in previous weeks had ranged from 9.3% to 46%.


 

The nearly 26,000 cases reported during the first week of April represent a fall of 97.7% from the peak of the Omicron surge in mid-January, when weekly cases hit 1.15 million, and they represent the lowest weekly count since mid-July of 2021. Cumulative cases in children now number close to 12.9 million over the course of the pandemic, which is 19.0% of cases among all ages, the AAP and CHA said in their weekly COVID report.

Data on new-case rates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show the same continued decline, but the CDC acknowledges the possibility of reporting delays in recent weeks. The numbers for the latest week, April 3-9, maintain the larger overall decline, but there have been a couple of small, temporary increases over the last month, the CDC reported on its COVID Data Tracker.

Daily new admissions of children aged 0-17 years with confirmed COVID were right around 0.14 per 100,000 population for April 3-9, compared with 0.13 per 100,000 during the week ending April 2, the CDC said, with reporting delays making it possible that the 0.14 figure could be revised upward in the near future. The highest admission rate, 1.25 children per 100,000 population, occurred on Jan. 15 and 16.

The Latest on Vaccination

New vaccinations slipped a bit in the last week, with the drop slightly larger among those aged 12-17 years – from 47,000 for the week of March 24-30 to 43,000 during March 31 to April 6 – than in children aged 5-11, who went from 70,000 initial doses to 69,000 over the same 2-week period, the AAP said in its weekly report on vaccination trends.

Among the states, Vermont has fully vaccinated more children aged 5-11 (58%) than any other state, while Hawaii is the leader in fully vaccinated 12- to 17-year-olds at 86%. The lowest comparable figures for both groups can be found in Alabama, where 10% of children aged 5-11 are fully vaccinated and 34% of those aged 12-17 have received both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the AAP said.

National figures show equally large COVID vaccination gaps between the two age groups. As of April 11, 68% of all children aged 12-17 years had received at least one dose, compared with 34.6% of those aged 5-11, and 58.5% of the older group was fully vaccinated, versus 28.0% of the 5- to 11-year-olds, the CDC reported.

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