The number of COVID-19 cases among children younger than 15 is the lowest since the start of the summer holidays, with the infection rate consistently low for weeks despite schools reopening in September. 

In fact, there were only 10 children infected with the virus last week. 

According to the latest figures published by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the infection rate among those under 15 up until the end of last week was 31.81 cases per 100,000 people. This is the same rate as that during the previous week, which was when most students returned to class for the new scholastic year. 

A review of the data for recent weeks showed that the infection rate for the past two weeks was the lowest since the end of June, around the time the previous scholastic year came to an end.

By August, the infection rate among children had soared to 235.69, the highest since the spike registered earlier in March. At the time, despite classes shifting online, the authorities had argued that keeping children physically in schools would help control the spread of the virus.

For this reason, the physical reopening of schools had been given priority, with the education and health authorities insisting closure of schools because of the pandemic should be a last resort. 

During the summer holidays, children aged over 12 were eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, with the authorities urging parents to ensure their children are vaccinated before the start of the new year. 

The health authorities are now awaiting clearance from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to start vaccinating younger children. Public health chief Charmaine Gauci has told Times of Malta the island has enough doses to give to children and once there is EMA approval, the authorities will immediately invite parents to have their young ones inoculated.

Meanwhile, the fresh data also confirmed earlier reports that the infection rate among those over 80 has continued to plummet as a result of the booster doses currently being administered to the cohort. 

Earlier in October, Times of Malta reported that infections among the over-80s had halved in just over two weeks as the booster started leaving its mark. 

According to the latest data, last week, only two patients in their 80s tested positive for the virus. 

 

 

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