This month, more children are getting Covid-19 than ever before.
In two weeks, nearly half a million American kids nationwide tested positive for coronavirus.
The alarming numbers come in a report released by The American Academy of Pediatrics.
There were 243,000 new cases in kids in the latest week of reporting, which ended September 9. The week before that, there were 252,000 new cases reported on September 2.
That means those two weeks had the highest number of new child cases since the start of the pandemic.
Connecticut kids are also part of the nationwide trend.
In less than a month, 4,094 children statewide were infected with the virus. That reporting took place between August 12 and September 9.
“I had a 7-week-old that tested positive,” Dr. Lucia Benzoni, a pediatrician with Harford HealthCare, said. “We have had quite a few children that had tested positive in this practice, much more than this earlier surge actually.”
There has also been a steady uptick. This is a breakdown of new child cases reported over the past five weeks.
- 9/9: 70,004 cumulative cases (up 1,020)
- 9/2: 68,984 cumulative cases (up 881)
- 8/26: 68,103 cumulative cases (up 1,170)
- 8/19: 66,933 cumulative cases (up 1,023)
- 8/12: 65,910 cumulative cases
In mid-August, the state had more than 65,000 child cases. Each week, there have been roughly 1,000 new infections. That brings the number of Covid-19 cases in Connecticut kids to more than 70,000 children right now.
Those infected kids have consistently made up around 18.5% of total Covid-19 cases in the state.
According to the latest data from the Connecticut Department of Public Health, a total of five children (Age 0-19) have died during the pandemic.
This spike comes after a decline in child cases in early summer.
“It’s not much of a surprise. We were seeing already an increase in cases in the pediatric population even before school started, and it really is all being driven by the Delta variant,” Dr. Melissa Held, pediatric infectious disease specialist and dean for Medical Student Affairs at UConn, said.
Many parents are wondering when the vaccine will be ready for their kids, especially as schools reopen.
“The transmission in schools is probably still very low as long as there are preventative measures being taken, including continued mask-wearing,” Held said.
Tuesday the CEO of Pfizer announced new data on how well the vaccine works on young children will likely be released in late October. Albert Bourla says that clinical trial data looks at kids from 6-months to 5-years-old.
“They’re being very, very careful with the testing for the vaccine. They’re making sure that it is safe,” Benzoni said.
Data for kids between 5 and 11 will come much sooner— potentially submitted to the FDA by the end of the month. Then Bourla says it is up to the FDA to approve the vaccine for kids, and that could take time.
“Really it’s not until we get you know, into the 80%, maybe higher percent of coverage in our communities, that we’re going to start to see a slower rate of spread.” Held said.
Meanwhile, the continuing spread of the delta variant is causing a surge in hospitalizations across the country, especially impacting young kids who cannot get a shot.