Experts see rise of COVID-19 in kids

Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 2:41 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, COVID-19 cases in kids made up only around 3 percent of the U.S. total.

But now the agency reports that kids in the last few weeks represent 22.4 percent of new cases.

Experts like local Doctor Tory Caudle with Sweetgrass Pediatrics say there are several factors leading to the rise in numbers in kids. She says the new COVID variants, as well as the loosening of restrictions on school activities like indoor sports, is causing the increase.

“We talk to our parents a lot about activities that would be safe and there’s no activity that has zero risk, but we try to balance some normalcy with some caution,” Caudle said. “It’s too early to take away protective measures. We are still trying to get people protected.”

She says one form of that protection will come in the way of the emergency authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for kids ages 12 to 15. Pfizer says the vaccine is safe and 100% effective in this age group.

“The more adolescents we can vaccinate the sooner we can get back to some sense of normalcy to make herd immunity,” Caudle said. “We’re happy the data was positive for that age group. Hopefully kids will be protected over the summer and we won’t see that rise in cases in their age.”

For 16-year-old Wando student Everett Busch he says the decision to get the vaccine once he had the opportunity was easy.

“I had some friends have some bad experience with the virus and a couple of people more at risk, so I through it would be better,” Busch said.

Everett’s mom Lorie said her family decided to get their shots together despite a little apprehension about side effects.

“I was worried, but my concern outweighed getting the virus itself so we decided as a family to get it,” Busch said.

Caudle says in order to see the numbers go down in kids it’s still important to keep current safety measures in place especially in schools. She says keeping social distancing, wearing a mask and cleaning surfaces is vital.

“More freedom is coming but we don’t want to go too soon too fast and regret it later,” Caudle said.

“We wanted to get it as soon as we were able to so we could start living life normally,” Busch said.

When it comes to children ages 2 to 11 getting the vaccine the American Academy of Pediatrics says this age group could potentially be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine this fall.

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