Children's COVID-19 cases highest; Delta risks Christmas
COVID-19 cases in young children have grown five times faster than over 60s. Statistics stand at 131% vs 23% from the past two months.
Provocate’s upcoming VaxEnomicTM Forecaster for business shows children and teens aged 0 to 19 years accounted for 5,554 cases, and also accounted for more new cases nationally than over 40s combined.
Their figures were 5,510 for 40 to 95+ year olds since National Cabinet decided to start reopening domestic and international borders at 70% and 80% of adults fully vaccinated.
This is raising doubts Australia can reopen before Christmas with only 80% of adults vaccinated.
Provocate Managing Director Troy Bilsborough said the politics of sick children meant business should be cautious banking on a December Quarter reopening, even if adult vaccination targets were met.
Mr Bilsborough – a former senior adviser to the Federal Health & Aged Care Minister (2014-2017) – said reopening would ultimately rely on the Federal Government having to mount a “chicken pox defence – better to catch it young than old” – a difficult task with a Federal Election looming between now and May.
Mr Bilsborough recommended National Cabinet agree to a hard date, such as 80% of first adult doses, to reassess current targets and avoid any last-minute political capitulations and Christmas cancellations.
“Australia’s major capital cities have been in a state of rolling lock downs since the Federal Budget was handed down in May at a cost of over $2 billion per week to the economy,” he said.
“It’s therefore logical that both the national budget – and those of business – cannot afford to remain closed during the December Quarter, which is likely to decide whether Australia re-enters recession.
“However, children’s COVID cases have also grown 131% - faster than any other age group - in the two months since.
“Current National Cabinet plans for reopening at 80 per cent assume the economic risk of keeping international borders and businesses closed is greater than children catching – and dying – from COVID.
“Fully vaccinating 70% and 80% of adults also only equals 56% and 64% of the whole population, leaving four million children at increased exposure to COVID without the same vaccine protections.
“As logical as low child COVID death rates may be, business must account for the fact no Federal Government wants to enter an election being accused of creating a generation of COVID kids.
Overall, young people under 19 made up one-third of the 17,780 new COVID cases between 29 June 2021 and 28 August 2021 - when the Delta strain started taking hold in Sydney – seeing national cases increase from 30,562 to 48,342, 55%.
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