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Children At Risk As COVID-19 Cases Surge Around Country Due To Delta Variant

Arizona health officials reported more than 2,000 additional COVID-19 cases for the sixth consecutive day Aug. 9.

The state’s coronavirus dashboard reported 2,191 additional cases. No new deaths were listed, possibly reflecting a typical lag in reporting after a weekend.

Although the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths have all increased in the past month, levels are still below those of the surges last summer and winter.

More than 19,000 vaccine doses were given around the state Aug. 8, with 53.4% of the state’s population having received at least one vaccine dose; almost 3.4 million Arizonans are fully vaccinated.

As we see the number of COVID-19 cases rise here and across the country, another disturbing trend is emerging: the rise of cases — sometimes serious ones — in kids.

Kids haven’t been the biggest concern throughout the pandemic when it comes to infections — the rate of serious infection and especially death among kids has remained low.

But kids under 12 can’t get vaccinated yet, and only about 30% of eligible adolescents have so far gotten the shot.

And Dr. Wassim Ballan says the ultra-transmissible delta variant could be changing the game when it comes to kids.

Ballan is a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The Show spoke with him about the situation with children and COVID-19 — and what he’s seeing here in the Valley.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.