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Sunday, 22 May 2022 19:56

3 220 new cases identified in SA in the last 24 hours.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), reports 3,220 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3'929'872.

This increase represents a 16.72% positivity rate.

Due to the ongoing audit exercise by the National Department of Health (NDoH), there may be a backlog of COVID-19 mortality cases reported. Today, the NDoH reports 0 deaths, and of these,occurred in the past 24 – 48 hours. This brings the total fatalities to 100,933 to date.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the use of a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for children aged 5 to 11-year-old.

More than eight million of the 28 million children in that age group in the United States have received two vaccine shots, and will now be eligible for the extra dose at least five months after their second shot.

However, the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention still needs to sign off on the shots before they can be administered.

The US government has been pushing for eligible Americans to get boosters in the face of data that shows vaccine immunity decreases over time.

The FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf said the Omicron variant has seen more children getting Covid.

Overall, 25.7 million children over the age of 5 -- about half those eligible -- remain completely unvaccinated, including 18.2 million children ages 5 to 11.

Last week, more than 93,000 additional child COVID-19 cases were reported, an increase of about 76% from two weeks ago, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association. This marks the fifth consecutive week of increases, and the highest weekly total since late February.

Pediatric hospital admission rates have increased by 57% in the last month, according to CDC data, and on average, about 163 virus-positive children are entering hospitals each day.

Overall numbers remain significantly lower than during other parts of the pandemic. However, many Americans who are taking at-home tests are not submitting their results, and thus, experts say daily case totals are likely significantly higher than the numbers that are officially reported.

Nearly 13.2 million children have tested positive for the virus since the onset of the pandemic, and children represent about a fifth of all reported cases on record.

With children between the ages of 12 and 17 receiving the Covid-19 vaccine in South Africa, it might not be too long before under 12s become also become eligible in this country.