Black, Hispanic, and American Indian Children Make Up Most Covid-19 Deaths Among Kids
A new CDC report reveals disparities in coronavirus fatality rates
While children are less likely to die from a Covid-19 infection compared to adults, a new federal study reveals a tragic disparity in coronavirus fatality rates among young people under age 21.
The report, published Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) looked at 391,814 cases of Covid-19 among young people under age 21, which included 121 deaths. Even though Hispanic, Black, and American Indian/Alaskan Native people account for 41% of the American population under age 21, these three groups accounted for about 75% of deaths from Covid-19 in this age group.
“These racial/ethnic groups are also disproportionately represented among essential workers unable to work from their homes, resulting in higher risk for exposure to SARS-CoV-2 with potential secondary transmission among household members, including infants, children, adolescents, and young adults,” the researchers write.
The Long History of Redlining Makes Covid-19 Worse for Black Americans
Health effects of racist housing policy persist 80 years later
There are a few possible reasons for the fatality rate disparities, the CDC report says. Social determinants of health like crowded living conditions, food and housing insecurity, racial discrimination, and wealth and education gaps can all contribute to a higher risk for Covid-19 infections and poorer outcomes for the disease. They add that “higher rates of adverse outcomes among racial and ethnic minorities are likely related to challenges in seeking care for various reasons, including difficulty and delays in accessing health care services because of lack of insurance, child care, transportation, or paid sick leave, and social determinants of health that contribute to higher prevalence of medical conditions.”
The report is yet another study to find racial disparities in coronavirus death rates. Most studies have so far looked at adults, and have found that people of color have substantially higher fatality rates from Covid-19 than white adults.