DENVER (KDVR) — National and statewide trends give weight to Pfizer’s push to authorize vaccines for children.
Pfizer and partner BioNTech have asked U.S. health regulators to approve emergency use of their COVID-19 vaccine for children aged from 5 to 11, Pfizer confirmed Thursday. Only children 12 and up are currently approved for the vaccine.
A recent American Academy of Pediatrics report confirms that COVID rates in children are now as high as they’ve ever been.
The study tracked all COVID data from U.S. states and territories. It found the percentage of COVID cases that are children under 18 has risen over the pandemic’s lifespan. From the beginning of the pandemic to now, about one in six COVID cases were in children, or 16.2%. In the week ending Sept. 30, just more than one in four COVID cases were in children, or 26.7%.
In Colorado, the most recent rate matches the national.
The percentage of Colorado COVID cases that are children jumped seven points in the three weeks after the school year started. This is consistent with state outbreak data, which shows that more COVID outbreaks happen in K-12 schools than in skilled nursing and assisted care facilities combined.
As researchers have noted, though, that doesn’t mean children are getting seriously ill.
The academy’s analysis found that in the U.S. only 2.5% of COVID hospitalizations were children between May 21 and Sept. 30, and 0.08% of total COVID deaths.
In Colorado, rates are similarly low. Throughout the pandemic, 0.26% of Colorado’s COVID deaths are children.
As a percentage of total statewide COVID deaths, Colorado ranks highest in the U.S. — but that speaks to how few children die from COVID. Despite the high rate, 20 children from 0-19 years old died from COVID.
Hospitalization rates are higher but still comparatively low — 3.1% of its COVID hospitalizations.