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New U.S. COVID cases are down 22%. See how your state is doing

October 20, 2021, 10:30 PM UTC

Gearing up for a likely FDA approval next week, the Biden Administration today announced its plans intended to expedite the rollout of COVID vaccines to Americans, ages 5 to 11. Beyond securing a supply of the Pfizer vaccine specially formulated for the 28 million children in the age group, the government plans to stand up vaccine sites at schools, children’s hospitals, and pediatric offices, among other locations.

Children under the age of 12 remain one of the segments of the population least protected against coronavirus infections; in the week ending Oct. 14, children accounted for more than a quarter of the nation’s new COVID cases according to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics. That’s one of the highest levels since the pandemic began; overall, since March 2020, 16.4% of all U.S. Covid cases have been in children.

While kids make up a significant number of those newly infected, they account for a very tiny share of those who become severely ill from the virus; in the 24 states that report such data, children account for 1.6% to 4.2% of hospitalizations due to COVID, though they can still spread the virus to others.

Nationally, new COVID cases continue to trend downward from a September peak of roughly 150,000 per day. As of Oct. 19, the national average stood at 79,348 new cases reported per day according to data from the New York Times, down 22% from two weeks ago. New cases are rising in only 10 states, led by Vermont, which has seen the daily rate increase 38.3% in the past 14 days. Colorado and Connecticut have also seen new cases climb by more than 30% in that period. New cases have decreased most significantly in recently hard-hit states in the Southeast, led by Florida, where numbers are down 50.6% from two weeks ago.

In the U.S. vaccine drive, 189.5 million people—57.1% of all Americans—are now fully vaccinated according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up from 56.5% a week ago. That translates to 66.8% of the eligible 12-and-older population. While uptake is slow for first doses, the number of individuals who have received a booster shot increased to 10.9 million people (5.8% of vaccinated Americans, and 14.9% of vaccinated seniors), up from 8.5 million last week. 

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