According to new CDC data, nearly 9 out of 10 children in the United States under the age of 17 had antibodies from a prior COVID-19 infection.
86% of children aged between six months and seventeen years had at least one COVID-19 infection as of August, up from 75% in April.
What we need to understand is that this is more of a sign that the virus has spread widely among children, according to John Brownstein, chief innovation officer at Boston Children’s Hospital, who spoke with ABC News.
And that the children are not immune to this virus, he continued. “And we know that there are serious repercussions in a tiny percentage of individuals.”
According to ABC News, the most recent evidence does not imply that these kids and teenagers are immune to COVID-19 reinfections. Researchers in public health have not been able to determine how long the immunity lasts after a prior infection.
The children are already immune to infection, therefore we cannot infer from this evidence that it is no longer vital to invest in vaccines and other child protection measures, according to Brownstein. Immunity deteriorates over time, and new varieties emerge to circumvent it.
Regardless of previous infections, the CDC advises that everyone stay current on their vaccines, especially the most recent booster injection that fights the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron types.
The CDC also suggests that those aged 12 and older get a fresh booster shot at least two months following their final dosage. Ages 5 to 11 who have received the Pfizer-BioNTech primary vaccine series are eligible for the original booster.
According to ABC News, the Omicron-targeted booster should be accessible to children aged 5 to 11 by mid-October. The FDA stated in September that approval of the revised booster for children under the age of five was still “a few months away.”
According to The New York Times’ data tracker, the United States is reporting around 41,000 instances every day. For the first time since June, hospital admissions are below 30,000. Daily death reports average around 400.