Children and COVID: Vaccinations, New Cases Both Rising

Richard Franki

July 28, 2021

Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

COVID-19 vaccine initiations rose in US children for the second consecutive week, but new pediatric cases jumped by 64% in just 1 week, according to new data.

The new-case count was 38,654 for the week of July 16-22, an increase of 64% over the 23,551 child cases reported during the week of July 9-15, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Children's Hospital Association (CHA) said in their weekly COVID-19 report.

"After decreases in weekly reported cases over the past couple of months, in July we have seen steady increases in cases added to the cumulative total," the AAP noted. In this latest reversal of COVID fortunes, the steady increase in new cases is in its fourth consecutive week since hitting a low of 8,447 in late June.

As of July 22, the total number of reported cases was over 4.12 million in 49 states, the District of Columbia, New York City, Puerto Rico, and Guam, and there have been 349 deaths in children in the 46 jurisdictions reporting age distributions of COVID-19 deaths, the AAP and CHA said in their report.

Meanwhile, over 9.3 million children received at least one dose of COVID vaccine as of July 26, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Vaccine initiation rose for the second week in a row after falling for several weeks as 301,000 children aged 12-15 years and almost 115,000 children aged 16-17 got their first dose during the week ending July 26. Children aged 12-15 represented 14.1% (up from 13.5% a week before) of all first vaccinations and 16- to 17-year-olds were 5.4% (up from 5.1%) of all vaccine initiators, according to the CDC's COVID Data Tracker.

Just over 37% of all 12- to 15-year-olds have received at least one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine since the CDC approved its use for children under age 16 in May, and almost 28% are fully vaccinated. Use in children aged 16-17 started earlier (December 2020), and 48% of that age group have received a first dose and over 39% have completed the vaccine regimen, the CDC said.

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

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