BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The number of children contracting COVID-19 in the U.S. is now accounting for more than a fifth of new coronavirus cases in states that release data by age, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, last year it was at 3%.
This is a rising proportion of cases in America where more than 100 million adults are fully vaccinated.
Pfizer has given nearly 3,000 vaccine doses to children between 12 and 15.
The other age groups are broken up by children 5 to 11 -- 2 to 5 and 6 months to 2 years old.
Each age group has already or will receive both doses 21 days apart, just like adults however the dose amount is adjusted.
More than 4,600 children 6 months to 11 years old will be enrolled in the rest of the study.
The groups get vaccines varying in strength from a full adult dose to a half dose.
Parents need to keep an electronic daily diary of any symptoms.
And commit to one year of follow-ups, either by phone or in person.
And children under the age of 15 accounts for 26% of the global population and vaccine and health experts believe that successfully vaccinating children will contribute to herd immunity protection against COVID-19.
California has been requiring immunizations in grade schools since the polio vaccine in 1961. There are currently five vaccines required for school enrollment. Most recently chickenpox, which became mandatory five years after it hit the market.
Last year the California Department of Public Health said it would only consider making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for K through 12 schools if it were FDA approved in children, there was a recommendation from the CDC, and there was sufficient supply. There has not been an update yet.
Tuesday night, 23ABC spoke with two Kern County school officials about returning to school in the fall.
"At this point in time, it is not clear to us what the decision will be. We know that they are not required to be vaccinated unless there is a requirement as I said from CDPH it is optional. Many of our staff have returned to work and some of them have chosen not to get vaccinated." Dr. Mary Barlow.
Dr. Barlow said that there will be efforts to encourage staff and parents to get their students vaccinated.
They are looking at mobile clinic partnerships with health agencies here in Kern County.
We also talked with Kern High School District board member Jeff Flores about the return to school as well.
"This is not the learning environment or school environment of pre-pandemic it does look different and we are acting differently. We have rigorous infectious protocols and mitigation and PPE and students are masked they are separated. We have gone from no in-class instruction to in-class instruction with 6 feet now we're at 3 feet so the trajectory is good." Jeff Flores.