COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations rising in children in the U.S.

SPOKANE, Wash. — For the second consecutive week, new COVID-19 infection rates among children in the U.S. have increased.

This is according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA).

Last week, 37,000 additional child COVID-19 cases were reported, an increase of about 43% from two weeks ago.

The jump in infections follows weeks of steady declines and marks the first increase since January.

Nationally, pediatric hospital admissions from COVID-19 have also seen their first increase in three months — up by 5% in the last week, according to data from the CDC.

AAP and CHA report that only a small percentage of pediatric cases have resulted in hospitalization and death.

Even so, health experts stress that any uptick in severe illness among children is concerning.

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The increases in pediatric COVID cases are renewing calls for children to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Although the COVID-19 vaccine has been authorized under emergency use for all children over the age of 5 for nearly six months, tens of millions of children remain completely unvaccinated.

At this time, just under 26 million children, over the age of 5 — about half of those eligible — remain completely unvaccinated.

Overall, just 43.1% of eligible children have been fully vaccinated.

Many parents of young children have also been vocalizing their frustration over the delayed rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine for children under the age of five.

Top Biden administration officials said those shots could be available as early as June.

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