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Child cases of Covid-19 are rising as schools gear up to reopen. But vaccines for the youngest are still months away

July 21, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 23.6%. 1 min read.

New Covid-19 cases among children are back on the rise after months of declines, just as schools across the United States are gearing up to reopen in a few weeks.

The AAP said severe illness remains rare among children, but with Covid-19 cases rising in most of the country once again, experts have warned lagging vaccinations and the ferocious Delta variant could spell trouble for the country's youngest, many of whom are still ineligible for a vaccine.

"So many people, unvaccinated individuals, are getting Delta that children are getting swept up along with it, and I think this is going to make things very difficult as the school year opens," Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine, said Tuesday.

It's "very likely" data for Covid-19 vaccines in children younger than 12 may be available by late fall or early winter, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in the Tuesday Senate committee hearing.

Of roughly 25 million children 12 to 17 years old in the United States, roughly 8. 9 million have begun their Covid-19 vaccinations, according to CDC data.

Having to figure out which children are vaccinated and who should be wearing masks "puts a lot of burden" on schools, one expert said, and having mask mandates for everyone -- especially as the Delta variant circulates -- would be easier as students return to school, one expert told CNN on Tuesday.

"You're going to have a lot of children less than 12 years of age who don't even have the option of getting a vaccine," Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said.

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