PARIS (AFP) - Over 12.5 million children in the United States have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic, according to a new report published Tuesday by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.
A total of 12,515,391 child COVID-19 cases had been reported across the country as of Feb 17, and children represented 19 percent of all confirmed cases, according to the report.
COVID-19 cases among children have spiked dramatically across the United States during the Omicron variant surge.
Over 4.6 million child cases were reported since the beginning of January. For the week ending Feb 17, nearly 175,000 additional child COVID-19 cases were reported, according to the report.
Though the weekly increase was down substantially from the peak level of 1,150,000 cases reported the week ending Jan 20, child cases this week “remained very high,” said the report.
Over 1.9 million of child COVID-19 cases have been added across the country in the past 4 weeks.
This marks the 28th week in a row child COVID-19 cases in the United States are above 100,000. Since the first week of September, there have been nearly 7.5 million additional child cases, according to the AAP.
Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded Palantir Technologies Inc a $5.3 million contract to manage distribution of COVID-19 drugs in the United States, the software maker said on Tuesday.
The contract for supporting distribution of therapeutics is for a duration of six months, Palantir said.
The new partnership is an extension of an existing use of Palantir’s Tiberius platform for vaccine distribution, for which the company was selected in 2020.
A total of 11,135,316 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Africa as of Tuesday evening, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
The specialized healthcare agency of the African Union said the COVID-19 death toll across the continent stands at 247,553, while 10,296,875 patients have recovered from the disease so far.
South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia and Ethiopia are among the countries with the most cases on the continent, said the Africa CDC.
South Africa recorded the most COVID-19 cases in Africa with 3,659,698 cases, followed by Morocco with 1,159,157 cases.
In terms of caseload, southern Africa is the most affected region in Africa, followed by the northern and eastern parts of the continent, while central Africa is the least affected region.
A large study into rare blood clots linked with AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine found between just one and three cases per million, and only after the first dose, shedding fresh light on the side-effects from the shot.
Researchers have sought to analyze any link between COVID-19 vaccines and rare blood clots in the brain, arteries or veins - sometimes accompanied by low platelets, reports of which led many nations last year to pause use of the AstraZeneca shot, which was developed with Oxford University.
A study published in the PLOS Medicine journal on Tuesday looked at health records of 46 million adults in England between December 2020 and March 2021 to assess the risk of clots in the month after vaccination with either the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or AstraZeneca-Oxford shot, compared with the unvaccinated.
It was carried out by William Whiteley of the University of Edinburgh and Britain’s BHF Data Science Centre.
It found no risk of major arterial and venous thrombotic events in those aged 70 or over with either of the vaccines.
And while the risk of intracranial venous thrombosis following the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine was nearly double in those under 70, that was equal to between just one and three cases per million.
The risks of ICVT and hospitalization with thrombocytopenia “are likely to be outweighed by the vaccines’ effect in reducing COVID-19 mortality and morbidity,” the study’s authors said.
Chile on Tuesday said it registered 18,380 new COVID-19 infections and 35 deaths in the last 24 hours, for a cumulative total of 2,895,931 cases and 41,526 deaths.
According to the Health Ministry’s daily report, the latest figures placed the COVID-19 positivity rate at 23.33 percent nationwide and 15.08 percent in the Santiago Metropolitan Region.
It also reported 114,795 active cases of COVID-19 in the South American country.