The American Academy of Pediatrics, in its latest update, said there were nearly 94,000 cases of COVID among children in the last week, or about 15 per cent of weekly total cases. Children made up between 1.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent of total hospitalisations, it noted.
“It is scary, especially for kids who don’t fully understand what’s going on. They’re air hungry, struggling for breath, and it’s just scary,” Dr Kelechi Iheagwara, medical director of the paediatric intensive care unit at the Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana was quoted as saying by the NBC News.
“You have the illness, the fear, they can’t breathe, they’re isolated – that’s hard for anyone to understand, but can you imagine what it’s like for a kid?” Iheagwara added. Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden expects the Food and Drug Administration to soon grant full approval for vaccinating children under 12.
Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson are conducting clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the vaccines in children under 12. Results of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for children aged 5 to 11 could be expected in September.
Data for 2-to-5-year-olds could arrive soon after. For the youngest children, Pfizer said it could potentially get data in October or November, and shortly thereafter ask the FDA to authorise emergency use.