Washington, Aug 18 (IANS) Even as schools are set to reopen for the new school year in the US, children represent 18 per cent of the Covid-19 infections in the country, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
While since the beginning of the pandemic children account for 14.4 per cent of the infections, in the last week more than 1,21,000 children tested positive for Covid-19 in the US.
That is a 29 per cent increase over the figure of nearly 94,000 from the previous week, signaling a worrying trend as the fall semester approaches, the Daily Mail reported.
However, the infections are rarely fatal with just 0.01 per cent, or 379, resulting in death, an increase of eight from the week before.
The experts at AAP have been pushing the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve Covid-19 vaccines for young children.
“I write to urge the FDA to continue working aggressively towards authorising safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines for children under age 12 as soon as possible,” Dr Lee Savio Beers, president of the AAP, wrote in an open letter to the FDA on August 5.
“Pediatricians and the families they care for have been anxiously awaiting a vaccine that can be used in children 11 years of age and younger, and especially so now given the rise of the hyper infectious Delta variant,” she added.
Covid infections are rising in the US, even requiring hospitalisation, amid soaring infections from the Delta variant of Covid-19 amid lagging vaccination rates.
At least 81 children in the US died of Covid between March and July, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and many doctors warn that the situation is likely to get worse.
Kids are also beginning to make up an increased portion of cases in many states, the AAP reported.
In Vermont, kids make up 23 per cent of total cases, the most of any state.
In Alaska, 21 per cent of cases are children, while Florida (nine per cent) is the only state where children make up less than 10 per cent of total cases. Covid infections in children have also been seen in Arkansas, Missouri, Houston, and Louisiana.
Currently, only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has emergency use authorisation for children aged 12 and older.
Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson are conducting clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the vaccines in children under 12.