According to new data, more than 15,000 Americans were either hospitalized or died of COVID-19 even though they were fully vaccinated against the virus.
As of September 13, at least 12,750 fully vaccinated individuals in the United States are suffering from a breakthrough COVID-19 hospitalization. People over the age of 65 accounted for 70% of the reported breakthrough hospitalizations.
By comparison, only 48% of groundbreaking COVID patients admitted were female, and 20% were hospitalized for reasons unrelated to COVID-19 or did not show symptoms associated with coronavirus disease. This data is from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The data also showed that 3,040 fully-vaccinated Americans died of COVID-19. Of the total number of breakthrough deaths, 87% occurred in people aged 65 and older and 43% in females.
At least 17% of breakthrough deaths occurred in patients who had an asymptomatic case of COVID-19 or whose deaths were unrelated to the virus.
The data comes as the number of COVID-19 infections continues to surge “exponentially” across the U.S., particularly in children who now account for 25.7% of all new cases reported in the country.
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As of September 16, more than 5.5 million kids have tested positive for Covid-19.
Still, children are far less likely than adults to suffer serious disease or to die from Covid-19. Among states that report hospitalizations by age, children make up between 1.6% and 4.2% of patients hospitalized for Covid-19.
Among the states that report a death by age, children accounted for no more than 0.25% of the deaths. Seven states have reported no pediatric deaths.
As of Sunday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 548 children younger than 18 had died from Covid-19 in the United States.
Nearly 226,000 pediatric COVID-19 cases were reported in the past week in the U.S., with a total of more than 925,000 cases over the past month. Since the pandemic began, over 5.5 million children have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.
“After declining in early summer, child cases have increased exponentially, with over 925,000 cases in the past 4 weeks,” the American Academy of Pediatrics said in a Sept. 16 state-level data report.
Health experts, like CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, have said that public health agencies are working to have a vaccine ready for younger children by the end of the year.
According to Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a board member at Pfizer and the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, that timeline could be as soon as Halloween.
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“The FDA says it will be a matter of weeks, not months, to make a determination if they’re going to authorize vaccines for kids between 5 to 11. I interpret that to be perhaps four weeks, maybe six weeks,” said Gottlieb.
But once those vaccines are available, it will be up to families to decide to vaccinate their children. And vaccination rates of those eligible have lagged behind where health experts said they need to be to slow or stop the spread of the virus.