Pediatric Covid Hospital Visits Plunge in U.S. as Schools Reopen
(Bloomberg) -- Hospital admissions are declining sharply among U.S. children with Covid-19, even more than adults, quieting concerns for now that the return to school could trigger a major uptick in viral transmission.
Daily pediatric admissions with confirmed Covid have fallen 56% since the end of August to an average of about 0.2 per 100,000, according to Department of Health and Human Services data. Among adults, new admissions fell 54% to 2.1 per 100,000 in the same period, the data show.
Some schools dropped mask mandates this year under pressure from Republican governors, adding to public health experts’ concerns about returning to classrooms amid high viral transmission from the delta variant. Instead, the Delta wave has waned over the first two months of school. It’s unclear what will happen when the U.S. enters its traditional winter virus season.
Throughout the pandemic, kids have seen vastly fewer severe outcomes from the virus than adults. Although the absolute numbers are still small, they have made up a slightly larger share of total hospital patients in the past six months. That’s probably at least in part a reflection of the higher vaccine uptake among adults.
A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel is considering evidence Tuesday in the lead-up to a potential Covid-19 vaccine approval for kids ages 5-11. Kids ages 12-15 didn’t gain access to the vaccine until May, and less than half of that cohort has gotten fully vaccinated so far.
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