Paediatric cases of Covid are declining in the US

But American Academy of Paediatrics warns cases are still ‘exceptionally high’

Bevan Hurley
In New York
Monday 04 October 2021 21:18
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Children should be offered Covid vaccine, say chief medics
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New cases of Covid-19 in the United States have fallen 35 per cent since the start of last month, with positive infections declining among children even in the absence of an available vaccine for under 12s.

The US is averaging about 107,000 new daily cases compared to more than 150,000 on 1 September.

There were over 173,000 new cases among children in the week to 30 September, and nearly 850,000 new cases over the preceding four weeks.

Pfizer is expected to file for emergency use of its vaccine for children under 12 with the Food and Drug Administration in the next few weeks.

Experts say the declining numbers show that vaccines are working, and vaccination of young children would help to prevent any future waves of the virus.

“It’s encouraging news we see pediatric cases falling despite the absence of vaccines because it means we can do a lot by making sure we control spread of the viruses among adults,” Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told The Washington Post.

According to data from the American Academy of Paediatrics, the number of new Covid cases in children remains “exceptionally high”.

The declining numbers were welcome news in the week that the US death toll passed 700,000 since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of national data among children and adolescents in 2021 found they peaked in January, dropped in June and spiked in August.

Weekly Covid-19 hospitalisation rates followed a similar pattern.

The Delta wave experienced in southern states like Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi has followed a similar pattern to places like the United Kingdom and India, where a spike in cases was followed by a swift drop off.

Experts believe this pattern occurs when the virus comes up against fewer new people to infect, as most have been vaccinated or already caught the disease.

Hospitalisations among the whole population are also falling, with around 75,000 people currently in hospital compared to more than 93,000 at the start of September.

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