More kids are being infected with COVID: Is the Delta variant more dangerous?

More children are getting infected with COVID-19 and as a result, more kids are ending up in the hospital, but health experts are still unclear on whether the Delta variant driving the resurgence of cases is more dangerous for those ineligible to be vaccinated against it.

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"One key question out there right now that a lot of us have is COVID actually more dangerous for children or not?" said Dr. Michael Smith, a Duke Pediatric Infectious Diseases Professor. "Currently there's no data to support that children who have the Delta variant are at higher risk for severe disease. There's certainly data to support that it's much more transmissible."

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A newly released report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Children's Hospital Association found nearly 94,000 new child COVID cases reported last week; the week prior, nearly 72,000 new cases were reported in children which was nearly double the nearly 39,000 cases from the week before that.

According to CDC data, the rate of pediatric hospital admissions -- which is children 17 and under per 100,000 people -- is now 3.75 times higher than it was one month ago; the rate is also now equal to its highest point in the pandemic in January 2021.

"Vaccines and masking are gonna help turn the tide," said Dr. Smith.

The AAP, citing the hyper infectious Delta variant, implored the FDA Commissioner in a letter last week to "continue working aggressively towards" authorizing COVID vaccines for children under 12.
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