NIH director: COVID-19 infections among children 'very worrisome'

NIH director: COVID-19 infections among children 'very worrisome'
© Greg Nash

The director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) said on Sunday that he is worried about the number of pediatric COVID-19 cases, noting at least 400 children have died from the virus.

“We are also seeing a sharp rise in the number of pediatric cases, both unvaccinated kids and vaccinated kids who are getting COVID from this new delta variant. How bad could that spike in pediatric cases get?” Fox News Sunday’s Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceChris Wallace on Colin Powell: He was 'very protective' of his reputation Liz Cheney is the Margaret Chase Smith of our time Sunday shows - Buttigieg warns supply chain issues could stretch to next year MORE asked NIH Director Francis Collins.

“That's very worrisome. I think traditionally people kind of considered, ‘Well, you know, kids aren't going to get that sick with this.’ More than 400 children have died of COVID-19. And right now we have almost 2,000 kids in the hospital, many of them in ICU, some of them under the age of four,” Collins said.

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“So anybody who tries to tell you, ‘Well, don't worry about the kids, the virus won't really bother them,’ that's not the evidence. And especially with delta [variant] being so contagious, kids are very seriously at risk. And it's up to all of us to do everything we can to protect them, as well as we're trying to protect everybody else at the same time,” he added. 

Children under the age of 12 have not been authorized to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, a concern among parents who are worried about the spread of the delta variant.

The spread of the delta variant among unvaccinated communities with the U.S. has worried health officials who anticipate even higher caseloads within weeks.

Collins said on Sunday that the pandemic "is going very steeply upward with no signs of having peeked out."

"So I will be surprised if we don't cross 200,000 cases a day in the next couple of weeks," he added.