COVID-19 cases among Lyon County children increased over the weekend as Lyon County Public Health reported 31 new cases overall since Friday.
The report shows two active cases in infants under the age of 1, 14 active cases in children ages 1 - 11, nine active cases in children ages 12 - 17 and 24 active cases in the 18 - 23 age group. Two children have been hospitalized in the county — one in the 1 - 11 age bracket and one aged 12 - 17.
That means individuals ages 23 and under make up 38.5% of the 127 active cases in the county.
“We have 49 active cases in people 23 and younger,” said Flint Hills Community Health Center marketing manager Justin Ogleby. “I think it is safe to assume we will continue to see increases in this demographic, because they are less likely to be vaccinated and are in situations where they are not social distanced for a large portion of the day.”
Four people are currently listed as hospitalized.
The increase in cases comes after USD 253 released its COVID-19 Dashboard information on Friday which reported four new staff positives, 10 new student positives, 11 students in home quarantine, and 14 student in modified quarantine. One staff member was quarantined.
The district told The Gazette after press time that it was reviewing information.
Monday’s public health report was released just hours after the Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, potentially boosting public confidence in the shots and instantly opening the way for more universities, companies and local governments to make vaccinations mandatory.
According to the Associated Press, more than 200 million Pfizer doses have been administered in the U.S. under special emergency provisions — and hundreds of millions more worldwide — since December. In going a step further and granting full approval, the Food and Drug Administration cited months of real-world evidence that serious side effects are extremely rare.
President Joe Biden said that for those who hesitated to get the vaccine until it received what he dubbed the “gold standard” of FDA approval, “the moment you’ve been waiting for is here.”
“Please get vaccinated today,” he said.
Pfizer said the U.S. is the first country to grant full approval of its vaccine, in a process that required a 360,000-page application and rigorous inspections. Never before has the FDA has so much evidence to judge a shot’s safety.
The formula, jointly developed with Germany’s BioNTech, will be marketed under the brand name Comirnaty.
Moderna has also applied to the FDA for full approval of its vaccine. Johnson & Johnson, maker of the third option in the U.S., said it hopes to do so later this year.
Just over half of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated. Vaccinations in this country bottomed out in July at an average of about a half-million shots per day, down from a peak of 3.4 million a day in mid-April. As the delta variant fills hospital beds, shots are on the rise again, with a million a day given Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
“Our vaccination rates have be slowly increasing for the last month, and we believe that is because of a fear of the delta variant, which is much more contagious than the original version of COVID, and people getting vaccinated because of mandates either at work or school,” Ogleby said. “I expect because of the FDA’s announcement we will see even more employers implementing vaccine mandates.”
Full approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine means it meets the same “very high standards required of all the approved vaccines we rely on every day,” said Dr. Jesse Goodman of Georgetown University, a former FDA vaccine chief. That should help “anyone who still has concerns gain confidence” in the shots.
Overall, 4,675 cases have been reported in Lyon County since March 2020, including 4,460 recoveries and 88 deaths. A total of 82 breakthrough cases have been recorded since June 15 with 23 patients receiving the Janssen vaccine, 41 receiving Moderna and 18 receiving Pfizer.