Aug 30, 2022 - COVID

CDC data shows that most D.C. kids have had COVID-19

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

New data from the CDC shows that 75.4% of D.C. children have already been infected with COVID-19.

Driving the news: Released earlier this month, the CDC's survey examined samples from 384 D.C. children between the ages of 6 months to 17 years.

  • The presence of antibodies in survey participants indicates at least one resolving or past COVID-19 infection.

Worth noting: This percentage of antibodies does not include reinfections. The survey also doesn’t measure the antibodies produced by vaccination, which means it cannot be used to determine vaccination rates.

By the numbers: The national rate of prior COVID-19 infection in children is 79.7%

  • In Maryland, 73.1% of children had antibodies, based on 447 samples.
  • In Virginia, 76.1% of children had antibodies, based on 462 samples.

Be smart: While this data gives us insight into how many children have had COVID-19, it doesn’t show whether they have enough antibodies to fight off future infections.

What they're saying: The data shows just how prevalent COVID-19 infection has been among pediatric populations, particularly before vaccination was available, says Andy Pekosz, a virologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

  • What the data can't tell us: If those children were infected with Omicron, which would be useful to know as the variant is the dominant strain in the U.S., he adds.

As many students return to school this week, vaccination rates for D.C. children ages 12-17 hover in the low-to-mid 70s.

  • Forty-three percent of 5-to-11-year-olds in D.C. are fully vaccinated, as are 12% of children under the age of 5.

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