New York: As a third wave of COVID-19 pandemic knocks on India’s door, the country will have one eye on what’s happening in the United States.
Ravaged by a massive surge in coronavirus infections amid an Omicron tsunami, leading to around 2.5 to 3 lakh fresh daily cases, the US have been experiencing a growing number of children contracting the virus, reported AFP.
According to the American Academy of Paediatrics, paediatric COVID hospitalisations have hit a record high in the country. Almost 199,000 children were found to be infected with COVID-19 in the week ending December 23 as per latest data. It represents a 50% rise compared to cases earlier in the month.
As for COVID-related hospital admissions, the seven-day average in the 0-17 age group was 378 in the week ending December 28 — a massive 66% increase compared to the previous week. It was the highest ever weekly figure in the US, surpassing the previous peak amid the Delta wave in September.
Hospitalizations have hit a new peak among the 18-29 age group also. Cases of severe illness, however, are much lower compared to older age groups.
Just like in India, several experts have stressed on the need to step up vaccination among kids.
India will start vaccinating children this month with Covaxin, but only among the 15-18 age group. The country’s drugs regulator DCGI has approved the use of Covaxin for children aged 12-18.
It may not be long before the government expands vaccination for younger children, especially as Omicron cases continue to surge in several states.