coronavirus

Children Make Up 22% of New U.S. COVID-19 Cases: Report

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As more and more adults continue to get their COVID-19 shots, infection rates are plummeting across the country.

But according to new figures from the American Academy of Pediatrics, COVID-19 infections in children are remaining stubbornly constant.

At Live Oak Park in Santa Clara, kites were flying on a Friday evening and families were walking their dogs.

Among the adults that spoke with NBC Bay Area’s Sergio Quintana Friday, they told him that they have already got at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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But not everyone that Sergio Quintana spoke to on Friday night is on the same page about whether they want their children to get the shots if the federal government grants authorization.

“I think it's safe for the kids as well. And we want everyone to get it,” said Santa Clara resident Trang Trung. “We don't know about that yet. It's, it's, we're probably going to wait,” said San Jose resident Steve Lee.

That hesitancy comes as new figures released by the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that children are now making up 22% of COVID-19 infections and they are about 1.2 to 3.1% of hospitalizations.

Dr. Grace Lee, a pediatric epidemiologist at Stanford Children's Health said if vaccines are approved for children, those infection rates would also likely plummet.

“Having vaccines gives you a huge layer of protection that goes above and beyond with what we can do with masking and social distancing and cohorting, etc,” she said.

Lee added in the Bay Area, the higher rate of adult vaccination also gives a layer of protection for children. Those infection rates could drop in the area as a result. But Lee told NBC Bay Area that she's looking forward to vaccinating her own children and they are also looking forward to it.

“I might have a biased sample here, in that, at least my own children are really excited to get vaccinated because I think they see it as a strategy to be able to get back to normal and be able to participate in all the activities they have been missing out on for the past year,” Lee said.

Federal regulators are expected to announce a decision on use of the Pfizer vaccine for adolescents 12 to 15 years sometime next week.

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