French health authorities have reported a “very high” Covid-19 infection rate in children aged 6-10, they said in a weekly report on Friday.
Adherence to vaccination and social distancing guidelines is “more indispensable than ever” to slow infections, according to the country’s national health agency. Only the most vulnerable children aged 6-10 are currently eligible for vaccination, although the government has announced preparations to vaccinate this age group if scientific advisers recommend it.
The national weekly incidence rate rose 13% this week to 508 cases per 100,000 people, the highest it’s been since the first wave of Covid-19 — although the rate of increase is less than the week before, according to the report. On average, 48,700 new Covid-19 cases were diagnosed daily this week, according to Public Health France.
The agency also reported the number of Omicron cases in the country has risen to 301.
At the national level, hospitalizations and intensive care admissions saw double-digit percentage rises this week (12% and 15% respectively) but figures remain below those of the first three waves.
The health agency attributed to relatively low levels of Covid-related hospitalizations and deaths in this fifth wave to the efficacy of vaccines in avoiding severe forms of the illness and the circulation of Covid-19, primarily in the youngest of the population, who have less risk of hospitalization.
France reports “very high” Covid-19 infection rate in children