Aug 24, 2022 - News

Most North Carolina kids have had COVID-19

COVID-19 pediatric seroprevalence estimates
Data: CDC; Map: Simran Parwani/Axios

About three-quarters of North Carolina's children have already been infected with COVID-19, new CDC data shows.

Driving the news: The CDC's pediatric antibody seroprevalence survey, released last week, examined samples from nearly 500 North Carolinians ranging in age from 6 months old to 17 years.

  • The results indicate that an estimated 79.5% of those children had at least one resolving or past infection with SARS-CoV-2.

Why it matters: At the start of the 2022-23 school year, the story of our children's relationship with COVID-19 is dramatically different from what it was last year or the year before.

  • Those two Augusts brought furious arguments over prevention — if and when to reopen in 2020, whether to end mask policies in 2021.
  • This year, with vaccines widely available for people 6 months and up, the Wake County Public Schools COVID-19 page is a landing spot for recommendations, not mandates, and tips on how to minimize risk for the most vulnerable.

By the numbers: About 69% of Wake County children between ages 12-17 have received at least one vaccine dose, according to NCDHHS. 49% of kids ages 5-11 have a dose, and 12% of kids between 0-4 do.

  • Durham County's numbers are about the same, with the one exception: a noticeably higher percentage of kids ages 0-4 (17%) has received a dose.

The bottom line: Most North Carolina school systems on a traditional calendar welcome students back this coming Monday, and for the first time since the start of the pandemic, most of the kids sitting at desks will have had COVID-19.

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