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22% of new Covid cases in U.S. found in children, doctors explain why

Photo by Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images
Photo by Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images
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SAN ANTONIO (KABB/WOAI) - The American Academy of Pediatrics analyzed data from the last week of April, the numbers show a rise in Covid cases in the younger population.

22 percent of overall Covid cases in the U.S. were found in children.

We asked parent Jessica Matthews if this news would prompt her to get her three kids vaccinated when the time came.

"I’m definitely going to be looking to our pediatrician on guidance on that, but I’m very certain that they will be vaccinated when the time comes," says Matthews.

Doctors say the reason for the rise in cases is multi-fold.

New variants of the virus are becoming more mainstream and those variants are more easily transmissible.

The population eligible for the vaccine are making up a smaller percentage of cases.

"As the proportion of older adults either get immunized or have had the infection in the past, we see the total number of cases wane," says Dr. Joseph Cantey, pediatrician and professor with UT Health San Antonio. "The children who are still not eligible for the vaccine are naturally going to become a bigger and bigger slice of that pie."

Dr. Cantey says as more kids are returning to schools and some of those schools no longer require universal masking, it is likely we’re going to see more transmission among school-age children who aren’t old enough for the vaccine.

While he says it is true, Covid in children isn't as severe, there's still reason to exercise caution.

"Even though the severity for children has not been as high as it has been for adults on a case by case basis, we are still seeing deaths from Covid in children," he says. "Even though the absolute numbers are high, one death is one too many."

Matthews says she wants more information about what side effects from the vaccine would look like for kids, but she's open to vaccinating her family once approved by the FDA.

"Now with adult vaccines rolling out, all of our people are vaccinated, all of our love ones so I’m feeling hopeful."

Pfizer's vaccine for kids 12-15 could be approved as early as next week.

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Moderna's vaccine for 12-17-year-olds could be approved in the next few weeks.

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