The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported 214 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases among children in Erie County between Sept. 29-Oct. 5, compared to 197 cases between Sept. 22-28
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- This past week, the county had 184 cases in 5 to 18 age range, 30 cases in 4 and younger
- The previous week, the county had 162 cases in 5 to 18 age range, 35 cases in 4 and younger group
Erie County’s number of COVID-19 cases among children 5 to 18 years of age has increased slightly from last week, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
According to last week’s data, the number of COVID-19 cases among children had dropped from the previous week, but the increase this week is in line with what local doctors are seeing in hospitals.
Last week’s numbers:Erie County’s COVID-19 cases rise for 12th straight week
Between Sept. 29-Oct. 5, the county reported 184 cases among children 5 to 18 years of age, and 30 cases among children 4 and younger.
The previous week, the county reported 162 cases among children 5 to 18, and 35 cases among those 4 and younger.
“We’re definitely seeing an increase with the presumed delta variant in all pediatric ages,” said Anne Zomcik, M.D., a Saint Vincent pediatrician. “Most of the children are quite mild, and a lot of the times we wouldn’t have even checked because it seems like your average cold, but they may have had contact (with the virus) at school or by a parent, so we’re checking for COVID.”
In the children who have contracted COVID-19, Zomcik says they have handled it well and aren’t experiencing any health-related issues.
Pfizer waits for FDA approval
In June, more than two dozen Erie-area children, ages 2-11 received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine as part of a nationwide clinical trial for the vaccine. The study helped determine if the vaccine could be given safely to younger children.
Zomcik, who works at the Allegheny Health Network’s Health + Wellness Pavilion where the trial took place, has been monitoring the children’s reactions to the vaccine.
“It’s very similar to adults,” she said. “Children are tolerating it probably better than most adults, but there’s some soreness (from the second vaccine), and a handful will have some body aches usually just for the day, maybe a little fever and then they’re just bouncing back.”
Despite not knowing which children received the placebo vaccine, Zomcik sees the same side effects from the vaccine in older children and adults as she does in the younger children, with the most common problem being soreness in the arm.
After four months of monitoring with no major complications, Zomcik is among the many doctors waiting for the FDA to approve the vaccination for children 5-11.
COVID-19 updates:Pfizer seeks vaccine authorization for kids 5-11
“We know the antibodies for the children are as protective as they are in the older children and adults, which is a good thing, and it’s safe so far with all the data,” she said.
The FDA and the CDC will need to sign off on the vaccine before it becomes available to children in that age group. A panel of CDC vaccine advisers will review the data on Oct. 26, according to the FDA.
Considering the rising COVID-19 cases among children, Zomcik hopes to see the vaccine’s approval “hopefully sooner than later.”