WEDNESDAY, January 12, 2022 — In a sign that the highly contagious variant of Omicron spares no-one, a new report shows that new COVID-19 cases among American children rose to more than 580,000 in the week ending January 1. 6, up 78% from the previous week.
“With many children still not immunized – or too young to be vaccinated – children bear a disproportionate burden of this disease,” said Dr. Moira Silaji. She is president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which reports new pediatric COVID cases each week.
“These are tough times,” said Silaji.
Since the start of the pandemic, nearly 8.5 million American children have tested positive for COVID-19, and nearly 11% of those cases have occurred in the past two weeks, according to the report that uses country-by-country data. Just two weeks ago, 325,000 cases were reported.
“The good news is that we know a lot more about this virus than we did two years ago, and we have more tools at our disposal,” Szilagyi said in an AAP press release. “We understand the disease and how best to isolate and care for infected patients. We have access to masks and other personal protective equipment. And we have a vaccine that provides strong protection against severe disease, even with Omicron.”
While Omicron has infected both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, those who have been vaccinated are less likely to develop severe illness or be hospitalized.
Millions of children and teens have been vaccinated, and the safety data is reassuring, according to the AAP. The academy said the vaccine does a good job of protecting children from the worst effects of the disease, including a rare condition called pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C).
The AAP noted that the report’s data on new case numbers is limited because it depends on how each country reports its cases.
- American Academy of Pediatrics, Press Release, January 12, 2022
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Posted Jan 2022