Children and COVID: New Cases Climb Slowly but Steadily

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The current sustained increase in COVID-19 has brought the total number of cases in children to over 13 million since the start of the pandemic, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

The latest weekly count – 62,467 reported for the week ending May 5 – was 17.4% higher than the previous week and marks four consecutive increases since early April, when cases dropped to their lowest point since last summer. The cumulative number of cases in children is 13,052,988, which accounts for 19.0% of all cases reported in the United States, the AAP and CHA said in their weekly COVID-19 report.


Other measures of incidence show the same steady rise. The rate of new admissions of children aged 0-17 with confirmed COVID-19, which had dipped as low as 0.13 per 100,000 population on April 11, was up to 0.19 per 100,000 on May 6, and the 7-day average for total admissions was 136 per day for May 1-7, compared with 118 for the last week of April, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At the state level, new admission rates for May 6 show wide variation, even regionally. Rhode Island came in with a 0.00 per 100,000 on that day, while Vermont recorded 0.88 admissions per 100,000, the highest of any state and lower only than the District of Columbia’s 1.23 per 100,000. Connecticut (0.45) and Massachusetts (0.33) also were in the highest group (see map), while Maine was in the lowest, CDC data show.


Nationally, emergency department visits also have been rising over the last month or so. Children aged 0-11 years, who were down to a 7-day average of 0.5% of ED visits with diagnosed COVID-19 in early April, saw that number rise to 1.4% on May 5. Children aged 12-15 years went from a rate of 0.3% in late March to the current 1.2%, as did 16- to 17-year-olds, the CDC said on its COVID Data Tracker.

The vaccination effort, meanwhile, continues to lose steam, at least among children who are currently eligible. Initial vaccinations in those aged 5-11 slipped to their lowest-ever 1-week total, 47,000 for April 28 to May 4, while children aged 16-17 continued a long-term slide that has the weekly count down to just 29,000, the AAP said in its weekly vaccination report.

Here’s how those latest recipients changed the populations of vaccinated children in the last week: 35.4% of all 5- to 11-year-olds had received at least one dose as of May 4, compared with 35.3% on April 27, with increases from 67.4% to 67.5% for 12- to 15-year-olds and 72.7% to 72.8% among those aged 16-17, the CDC reported.

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

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