Of 41 583 residual serum specimens tested, children aged 0-4, 5-11, and 12-17 years accounted for 1619 (3.9%), 10 507 (25.3%), and 29 457 (70.8%), respectively. Median SARS-CoV-2 antibody seroprevalence among children increased from 8% (range, 6%-20%) in August 2020 to 37% (range, 26%-44%) in May 2021. Estimated ratios of SARS-CoV-2 infections to reported COVID-19 cases in May 2021 ranged by state from 4.7-8.9 among children and adolescents to 2.2-3.9 for all ages combined.
Using data from the Nationwide Commercial Laboratory Seroprevalence Survey, we estimated monthly SARS-CoV-2 antibody seroprevalence among children aged 0-17 years from August 2020 through May 2021. We calculated and compared cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection extrapolated from population-standardized seroprevalence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, cumulative COVID-19 case reports since March 2020, and infection-to-case ratios among persons of all ages and children aged 0-17 years for each state.
Case-based surveillance of pediatric coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases underestimates the prevalence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections among children and adolescents. Our objectives were to estimate monthly SARS-CoV-2 antibody seroprevalence and calculate ratios of SARS-CoV-2 infections to reported COVID-19 cases among children and adolescents in 8 US states.
Through May 2021 in selected states, the majority of children with serum specimens included in serosurveys did not have evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. Case-based surveillance underestimated the number of children infected with SARS-CoV-2 more than among all ages. Continued monitoring of pediatric SARS-CoV-2 antibody seroprevalence should inform prevention and vaccination strategies.
Couture A, Lyons BC, Mehrotra ML, Sosa L, Ezike N, Ahmed FS, Brown CM, Yendell S, Azzam IA, Katić BJ, Cope A, Dickerson K, Stone J, Traxler LB, Dunn JR, Davis LB, Reed C, Clarke KEN, Flannery B, Charles MD. (2022). Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Seroprevalence and Reported Coronavirus Disease 2019 Cases in US Children, August 2020-May 2021. Open forum infectious diseases, 9(3)