As Covid-19 cases surge among children and teenagers, vaccine mandates in schools might become the only way to keep kids learning safely in the classroom, according to pediatricians and other medical experts. Childhood Covid-19 cases have increased “exponentially” among children in recent weeks, the American Academy of Pediatrics said. The latest weekly count of new pediatric cases — 243,373 — marks a 240% increase compared to the week of July 22-29, the AAP said Monday. With many hospitals overwhelmed by Covid-19 patients, some doctors are worried about how they’re going to care for patients if the situation doesn’t improve.
And the rates of new cases and deaths are rising nationwide.
The US has averaged 171,394 new Covid-19 cases every day over the past week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, a 33% increase from just one month ago. And over the past week, an average of 1,843 Americans have died every day from Covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins data. That’s almost triple the average daily death rate from one month ago.
CHRIS WALLACE: To attend school in Nebraska, kids need to have all sorts of vaccinations. Why should Covid be different?
GOV. PETE RICKETTS: There's just a lot of people who don't know who to trust right now
WALLACE: It has FDA approval pic.twitter.com/LXLJ2bJMUY
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 12, 2021
Vaccination is the best form of protection against Covid-19 hospitalization and death, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. But only those 12 years old and older are eligible. Vaccine trials for younger children are underway, and younger children might be vaccinated by the end of the year, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. Those measures will likely have to stay in place until there is a combination of high vaccination rates and low rates of disease spread.
Yesterday I had a healthy woman in her 30s die in our ED despite our best efforts. She had kids. She was unvaccinated. She had Covid-19 confirmed. Getting the jab would've meant her kids would still have a mom today. Disinformation is killing people. Vaccines are safe.
— Moritz Haager (@M_Haager) September 13, 2021
Until vaccines are available for younger children, health agencies have promoted wearing masks, testing, ventilation, and distancing to keep kids safe.