COVID cases in children have soared since the beginning of July
The school year is in full swing in most of the United States now and along with that, COVID cases in children have risen “exponentially” according to new date published on Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
The AAP reports 243,373 new child COVID cases this past week, which is better than the week before when cases stood at 251,781. However, it’s still a 240 percent increase since the beginning of July. Back then, child cases sat at 71,726. “After declining in early summer, child cases have increased exponentially with nearly 500,000 cases in the past two weeks,” the group said in a statement.
As of Monday, just 63 percent of eligible Americans age 12 and over have gotten fully vaccinated against the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since the start of school, experts from health organizations have urged eligible folks to get vaccinated in order to provide the most protection possible for kids under 12 who aren’t yet eligible to receive the jab.
Thankfully, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Pfizer board member and former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, tells CBS’ Face the Nation that COVID vaccines are coming for kids, possibly as soon as late October. “The FDA says it will be a matter of weeks, not months, to make a determination if they’re going to authorize vaccines for kids between 5 to 11. I interpret that to be perhaps four weeks, maybe six weeks,” he says.
Before that official approval, the FDA is stressing that kids under 12 shouldn’t get the shot until it’s authorized for them. “Children are not small adults — and issues that may be addressed in pediatric vaccine trials can include whether there is a need for different doses or different strength formulations of vaccines already used for adults,” they said in a statement Friday.
In the meantime, schools across the nation are approaching COVID precautions in their buildings in very different ways depending on what state they happen to be in. In states like Florida, Texas, and South Carolina, the governors have actively worked to prevent mask mandates in schools — as cases among kids continue to skyrocket and schools are forced to close due to spread. In fact, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently celebrated his mask mandate ban being upheld in court right as child COVID deaths in his state had reportedly doubled since the summer.
Teachers in Mississippi have begged for help after 18,000 students tested positive for the virus in just a month.“There is no discussion around, at what point do we protect children over the economy,” Esther Newell, a public school teacher in Jackson, told Insider. “It seems like a question [Governor Reeves] is successfully avoiding, and every level of it is concerning to me.”
Hopefully, the FDA comes through with good vaccine news for the under 12 set sooner rather than later. It’s been a long pandemic and parents need the chance to breathe a little.