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Pediatric COVID-19 cases starting to fall in Shelby County

Published: Feb. 1, 2022 at 5:16 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - After two weeks of rising numbers, areas in the Mid-South are starting to see a decline in COVID-19 pediatric cases.

However, the virus still very much taking its toll as Mississippi reported yet another death due to COVID-19 in a child.

The state’s health department reports the child was between the ages of one and five years old. This comes less than one week after the state announced its 10th pediatric death due to the virus. Now, 11 children in the state have died of COVID-19.

Those under five are not eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, but Pfizer plans to ask the FDA to approve its vaccine in children six months to four years old. Federal regulators could do that this month.

“I know a lot of people with young children who really want to get their children vaccinated,” said Dr. Sandy Arnold, the chief of pediatric infectious diseases at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital.

Tuesday in Shelby County, 474 new COVID-19 cases were reported, 237 in children.

There are 18 patients with COVID-19 at LeBonheur as of Tuesday. Six are in the ICU.

“Even though we’re continuing to see pediatric cases in the community, a vast majority of those are doing well in their infection and not requiring hospitalization,” Arnold said.

While speaking to the Memphis Rotary Club Tuesday, Shelby County Health Director Dr. Michelle Taylor said pediatric cases have continued to go up over the last two weeks, even as overall cases fell. Now, she said they are also starting to decline.

In her presentation to the club, she said 40% of the nearly 60,000 COVID-19 cases reported between Dec. 22 and Jan. 22 were in vaccinated people, and 75% of those breakthrough cases were in people who had not received their booster shot.

“Looks like the booster really did help and it helped immediately,” Taylor said.

You can find a vaccination location near you here.

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