COVID-19 cases in children up 32 percent: pediatricians

More than 140,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 last week, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which was a roughly 32 percent increase from two weeks prior.

Between Nov. 11 and Nov. 18 a total of 141,905 children tested positive for COVID-19, according to the AAP, making up 25.1 percent of all the cases reported that week.

The number of pediatric COVID-19 cases that week was an approximate 32 percent increase from the seven-day period that ended Nov. 4. That week, roughly 107,000 children had tested positive for the virus, according to the AAP.

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The seven-day period ending on Nov. 18 marked the 15th consecutive week that more than 100,000 children tested positive for COVID-19, the AAP noted.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, nearly 6.8 million children have tested positive for the coronavirus, which accounts for 16.9 percent of all cases reported since the virus first entered the U.S.

The recorded spike in pediatric COVID-19 cases comes as the U.S. is beginning to roll out vaccines for children ages 5 to 11, after Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle WalenskyRochelle WalenskyNIH director says it's 'possible' omicron will not be last emerging variant CDC director confirms FDA in talks to streamline authorization of omicron-specific vaccine Sunday shows preview: Multiple states detect cases of the omicron variant MORE earlier this month signed off on a recommendation from agency advisers endorsing the Pfizer-BioNTech shots for children in that age range.

The White House announced last week that roughly 10 percent of children ages 5 to 11 will have received their first COVID-19 vaccine shot within two weeks of becoming eligible.

Cumulatively, around 8,300 American children in that age range had been hospitalized with COVID-19 as of the end of October, according to CDC data cited by The New York Times, and at least 172 had died.

Those deaths make up just about 0.02 percent of the total death toll of COVID-19 in the U.S., which by then had surpassed 770,000. More than 3.2 million people in the U.S. of all ages had been hospitalized nationwide.