Kansas City,
08:47 AM

The Wichita Eagle: In a pandemic first, teens have the worst COVID case rate in Kansas

By Jason Tidd

For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic reached Kansas more than a year ago, a child age group has the worst COVID-19 cases rate in the state.

The 14-17 age group in Kansas had a rate of 51.16 new cases per 100,000 people last week, making it the age group with the highest incidence rate.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment data show last week was the first time any child age group had been the worst. Previously, various adult age groups have had the worst coronavirus disease rates.

Doctors and public health officials have given COVID vaccines much of the credit for improving pandemic indicators over the past few months.

Even though the vast majority of children are currently ineligible to receive a vaccine, they still benefit from vaccinations among the rest of the population, said vaccine expert Dr. Barbara Pahud, the research director of pediatrics infectious diseases at Children’s Mercy Hospital and professor of pediatrics at the KU School of Medicine.

“Remember, as we immunize adults, we’re starting to see less COVID in our populations, which means children are going to get less COVID as well,” Pahud said Monday during a media briefing hosted by The University of Kansas Health System.

Trials in children ages are being planned or are already underway. All the vaccines will eventually be tested on children as young as 6 months, Pahud said.

She said the speed of last summer’s vaccine trials was “unprecedented.” That won’t be the case for testing vaccines on children.

“The speed at which a pediatric trial will move is much slower than the adult ones, because we don’t have the urgency right now, unfortunately, to move these trials as quickly as we had last year to move the adult trials,” Pahud said. “Number one, those trials are going to be smaller. They’re going to be done with a lot less money and a lot less cooperation.”

“Hopefully we can get a teenage vaccine at least this summer or at the end of this year, but I’m guessing that the pediatric vaccines down to 6 months of age are not going to be available under EUA (emergency use authorization) until next year.”


Read the full story via The Wichita Eagle

Learn more about the COVID-19 Vaccine at Children's Mercy