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Demographics of COVID-19 infections trending younger with kid vaccines on horizon

WLWT Cincinnati logo WLWT Cincinnati 4/29/2021
a sign on the side of a building: Cincinnati Children's Hospital © WLWT Cincinnati Children's Hospital

The demographics of COVID-19 are changing as higher rates of infection are trending younger than ever.

“If you look at the rates of infection per 100,000 people in the United States right now, the highest rates of infection are between 18 and 45 years of age,” said Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Dr. Robert Frenck.

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Frenck was the lead investigator on the Pfizer vaccine in Cincinnati and is working on a series of vaccines for children down to age 2.

The infection rate numbers are a dramatic shift from a year ago when those over age 45 were hit the hardest.

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Dr. Paul Spearman said most of the evidence looks like the shift is because vaccines have been established longer with the older population, dropping their rates, rather than a rising number of younger cases. Although he said, it shows there's a new focus on the population where the virus is living.

Spearman also pointed out there are places in the United States that are seeing the numbers of COVID-19 cases increasing in younger people.

Spearman said the younger population doesn’t generally get as sick from COVID-19.

“But still, there is a certain fraction of kids that get sick and they can get extremely sick and then there are complications that can occur after COVID,” Spearman said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics shows 3.7 million children have tested positive for COVID-19, more than 15,000 have been hospitalized and more than 300 have died.

Vaccines for kids down to age 12 could come any day. The FDA is considering an emergency use authorization right now.

“You want to start having those conversations now even before it’s available to younger kids,” said the Health Collaborative vaccine expert Kate Schroder.

Schroder said it’s important to begin discussions about vaccinating kids at schools, churches and places like sports organizations.

“So, parents can start to think about it and weigh the options and have the conversation with their doctor,” Schroder said.

READ THE FULL STORY:Demographics of COVID-19 infections trending younger with kid vaccines on horizon

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