Reported cases of COVID-19 among children continue to rise across the United States, with more than 1.1 million children diagnosed with the virus during the week ending Jan. 20, according to the Children and COVID-19: State Data Report, developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.
For the week ending Jan. 20, nearly 1,151,000 child COVID-19 cases were reported. This number is a 17% increase over the 981,000 added cases reported the week ending Jan. 13 and a doubling of case counts from the two weeks prior.
"As we approach the two-year anniversary of the pandemic, cases of COVID-19 among children and adolescents are the highest they have ever been. These numbers are staggering,” said Moira Szilagyi, MD, PhD, FAAP, the 2022 president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “It’s more important than ever that we all continue to practice the prevention strategies we know are most effective. Wearing masks in public, isolating when sick, and vaccinating as many people as possible are critical ways we can all help contain the spread of this virus, prevent hospitalizations, and protect those who are most vulnerable. That includes children in the youngest age group of children, who still are waiting for a vaccine.
“Families already have been through so much, and the burden has been especially high for families with children under age 5,” Dr. Szilagyi said. “The pandemic has dramatically reduced the child care and early education services parents rely on so they can work, as programs suffer from staff shortages or intermittently close for safety reasons. Parents worried about virus exposure have kept their children at home, while others have had to run the risk of exposure to keep their jobs. We are hearing this from across the country, from parents and the pediatricians who care for their children—who are also exhausted, worried, and frustrated. The AAP looks forward to the conclusion of the research trials for the vaccine for this age group, so that families can have access to a safe, effective vaccine to protect their youngest children from this virus. Meanwhile, we urge everyone who is eligible now to be vaccinated as soon as possible."
Since the onset of the pandemic, more than 10.6 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 . Over 2 million of these cases have been added in the past 2 weeks. The data is limited because of its reliance on how each state reports its cases.