January 5, 2022 – Weekly cases of COVID-19 in children exceed 300,000 for the first time since pandemic started, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.
Rate of new cases related to COVID admission to the hospital it also reached a new high of 0.74 per 100,000 children as of Dec. 31. The highest rate seen before the current rise driven by Omicron was 0.47 per 100,000 in early September, CDC data show.
State and Territorial Health Departments reported more than 325,000 new cases of COVID-19 in children during the week ended Dec. 30, surpassing the previous high of 252,000 recorded in early September and exceeding the previous week by nearly 64%, the AAP and CHA said in their weekly report on COVID.
A number of new cases were recorded in all four regions of the United States, and the Northeast added the most newly infected children and set a new high for the fifth week in a row. The South was a week behind, but still far from the record it set in September. The Midwest was third, but recorded the busiest week ever, while the West was fourth and nowhere near the previous high, the AAP / CHA report showed.
The total number of child cases since the start of the pandemic is nearly 7.9 million, according to data collected from 49 states (excluding New York), the District of Columbia, New York, Puerto Rico and Guam. That figure represents 17.4% of all cases reported in the United States, and the rate of COVID infection is up to nearly 10,500 per 100,000 children, meaning 1 in 10 children are infected.
Although children are even less likely to be hospitalized than adults, the gap appears to be narrowing. On January 2, there were 2,343 children and 87,690 adults with confirmed COVID in the hospital, a ratio of 37 adults to each child. But on September 5, at the peak of the previous increase, the ratio of hospitalized adults (93,647) and children (1,632) was 57: 1, according to the data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
New incomes show a similar pattern. 0.74 admissions per 100,000 children recorded on 31 December were less than, for example, those for adults aged 30-39 (2.7 per 100,000) or 50-59 (4.25 per 100,000). But on September 5, the corresponding figures were 0.46 (children), 2.74 (30-39 years) and 5.03 (ages 50-59), based on data from health and human services.
A look at vaccinations
The response to vaccination with Omicron was more subdued and somewhat inconsistent. First vaccinations were lower among eligible children for the week of Dec. 23-29. Previously, vaccinations for children aged 5 to 11 and 12 to 15 were lower in the second week of December and then increased slightly (5.6% and 14.3%, respectively) during the third week. Meanwhile, the first vaccines among 16-17-year-olds rose 63.2%, CDCs said COVID Data Tracker shows.
Less than a quarter (23.5%) of children aged 5 to 11 received at least one dose of vaccine in the first 2 months when they were eligible, and only 14.7% were fully vaccinated.
Among older children, 61.2% of children aged 12 to 15 received at least one dose, while the same was true for 67.4% of children aged 16 to 17. About 51.3% of children aged 12 to 15 are fully vaccinated, while 57.6% of children aged 16 to 17 are fully vaccinated, the CDC said.
At the state level, Massachusetts and Hawaii have the highest vaccination rates for children ages 12-17, with 86% receiving at least one dose. Vermont is the largest for children ages 5 to 11, 56%. The lowest rates can be found in Wyoming (38%) for children ages 12 to 17 and in Mississippi (6%) for children ages 5 to 11, the AAP reported. separate report.