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CDC reports fewer COVID-19 paediatric deaths after data correction

CNA – The United States (US) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 966,575 deaths from COVID-19 on Friday after it corrected the data earlier this week, which reduced the death tallies in all age groups, including children.

The health agency, in a statement to Reuters, said it made adjustments to its COVID Data Tracker’s mortality data on March 14 because its algorithm was accidentally counting deaths that were not COVID-19-related.

The adjustment resulted in removal of 72,277 deaths previously reported across 26 states, including 416 paediatric deaths, CDC said.

The reduction cut the CDC’s estimate of deaths in children by 24 per cent to 1,341 as of March 18.

Children accounted for about 19 per cent of all COVID-19 cases, but less than 0.26 per cent of cases resulted in death, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, which summarises state-based data.

Americans have been polarised over the mitigation measures the CDC recommended for schools during the pandemic from urging schools to be remote, require masks and set up social distancing measures. It now advises that for most of the country, children should be in school and can be without masks.

The number of US children with COVID-19 rose sharply during the Omicron variant wave due to its increased transmissibility and low vaccination rates among children five to 11 who are eligible for the vaccine. Children ages zero to four are not eligible for the vaccine in the US.