INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — COVID-19 cases in children are increasing as many return to school without a vaccine option.
The Indiana State Health Department reports 49 new student cases of coronavirus.
Across the country, nearly 72,000 children got it between July 22 and July 29, that’s an 84% increase from 39,000 cases the week before.
“It’s clear that this variant is capable of causing serious injury in children,” Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is responding to the numbers. The association is constantly looking at data from states and said the available data indicate that COVID-19 associated hospitalization and death is uncommon in children, as is severe illness.
The report goes onto say there is however an urgent need to collect more data on the longer-term impacts of the pandemic on children, including ways the virus may harm the long-term physical health of infected children, as well as its emotional and mental health effects.
Only children 12 and older have a vaccine available to them, but the hope is a fully FDA-approved vaccine may accelerate the approval process for vaccines for kids under 12.
“When you have an EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) for the vaccine that then goes to full approval, that might have an influence on what goes on. We’re collecting the data right now for what we need to make that determination,”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director, NIAID and Chief Medical Advisor to President Biden, said.
Since the start of the pandemic, nearly 4.2 million children have tested positive for COVID-19. That’s less than 15% of the total cases. The surge in kid cases seen last week makes up 19% of total weekly cases.
Experts say that shows the fast-spreading Delta variant has put children, especially at risk.