Aug. 11, 2021 -- The current COVID-19 surge has brought new cases in children to their highest level since February, according to a new report.

New pediatric cases rose for the sixth straight week, with almost 94,000 reported for the week ending Aug. 5.

That weekly total was up by 31% over the previous week and by over 1,000% since late June, when the new-case figure was at its lowest point (8,447) since early in the pandemic, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association said.

COVID-related deaths – 13 for the week – were also higher than at any time since March 2021.

Almost 4.3 million children have been infected with the coronavirus, which is 14.3% of all cases reported in 49 states (excluding New York), the District of Columbia, New York City, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Children represented 15.0% of the new cases reported in those jurisdictions during the week ending Aug. 5, the AAP and CHA said in their weekly report.

Vaccination among 12-to-15-year olds is also on the rise, although the latest weekly total is still well below the high of 1.4 million seen in May. First-time vaccinations reached almost 411,000 for the week of Aug. 3-9, marking the fourth consecutive increase in that age group, the CDC said on its COVID Data Tracker. Vaccinations also increased, although more modestly, for 16- and 17-year-olds in the most recent week.

Cumulative figures for children aged 12-17 show that almost 10.4 million have received at least one dose and that 7.7 million are fully vaccinated as of Aug. 9. By age group, 42.2% of those aged 12-15 have received at least one dose, and 30.4% have completed the vaccine regimen. Among those aged 16-17 years, 52.2% have gotten their first dose, and 41.4% are fully vaccinated, according to the COVID Data Tracker.

Looking at vaccination rates on the state level shows that only 20% of children aged 12-17 in Wyoming and 21% in Mississippi have gotten at least one dose as of Aug. 4, while Massachusetts is up to 68% and Vermont reports 70%. Rates for full vaccination range from 11% in Mississippi and Alabama to 61% in Vermont, based on an AAP analysis of CDC data, which is not available for Idaho.

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