Some troubling news concerning children and COVID-19. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health's latest release of COVID-19 data shows that cases in children are most definitely on the rise.

Not only in Massachusetts but in 8 other states including two more in New England, Maine and Connecticut, as well. The latest information from the Mass DPH COVID-19 dashboard shows an increase in children's cases from one two-week span to the next.

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There were 31 children's COVID cases admitted to hospitals in Massachusetts between November 21 and December 4. Jump ahead to 61 children being admitted to Bay State hospitals between December 12 and December 25.

It's even worse if you look at data from the entire nation. Across the country, literally hundreds of children are admitted to hospitals each day. In the coming weeks, virus levels are expected to intensify even more.

The latest data for Massachusetts shows a case rate of 1,651 per 100,000 people among 5 and 9-year-olds. That's the highest increase in any age demographic. And the age demographic with the second-highest rate was children ages 10 to 14, with 1,491 cases per 100,000 reported over a two-week period.

Is there any reason for this? After all, federal regulators approved the COVID-19 vaccine for children under 12 nearly two months ago. Some experts believe that it could be a slow rollout, vaccine-wise.

Other experts believe that just because vaccines are available, doesn't mean that children have access to them. Or because many people have what is called "vaccine hesitancy". If you have "vaccine hesitancy" that means you have a delay in accepting vaccines or downright refusing vaccines despite their availability.

According to a poll conducted recently by the KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor research project, most parents say they don’t have enough information about the effectiveness (58%), side effects (63%), or safety (61%) of the COVID-19 vaccines in children.

There's plenty more information to be gleaned from the latest COVID-19 data. Please visit the Mass DPH's website here for more.

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