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COVID-19 cases in children surpass 2 million :

December 29, 2020











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More than 2 million children have been diagnosed with COVID-19, including more than 1 million since mid-November.

New data from the AAP and the Children’s Hospital Association show nearly 179,000 COVID-19 cases in children were reported last week alone, bringing the total to at least 2,000,681 as of Dec. 24. Children make up about 12.4% of the total cases in the U.S.

At least 172 children had died as of Dec. 17. About 1.8% of all COVID-19 hospitalizations and 0.07% of the deaths have been among children. About 1.3% of children with a known case of COVID-19 have been hospitalized and 0.01% have died. Data were not available from all states.

The AAP believes the number of reported COVID-19 cases in children likely is an undercount because children’s symptoms often are mild, and they may not be tested for every illness.

Children have suffered during the pandemic even if they have not contracted the virus. Many are struggling with upheaval in their daily lives, social isolation, and anxiety about getting sick. Disruptions to educationhave impacted their academic progress, and a government analysis found millions of children from  families living in poverty  did not get vaccinations, screenings, mental health care, and dental services in the early months of the pandemic. The virus has had a disproportionate impact on Black and Hispanic children, who have experienced a higher number of infections, as well as  other impacts of the pandemic.

Earlier this month, Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine was granted emergency use authorization for people ages 16 and older. Some teens may be eligible in an early round of vaccination if they work in health care or as a frontline essential worker. The AAP is continuing to push for children to be included in vaccine trials.

The AAP also is continuing to support pediatricians on the front lines of the pandemic. It has issued interim clinical guidance on 20 topics, including testing, personal protective equipment, return to school, and telehealth. The Academy  is also holding biweekly virtual town halls, linking members with leading experts to discuss emerging issues related to the pandemic. The next session will be held at 7 p.m. CST Jan. 7. Register at

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