• Seven children have died in the state since Aug. 1
  • All eight pregnant women were not vaccinated for COVID-19
  • The state has reported 75,000 pediatric COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic

Fifteen children and pregnant women have died of COVID-19 in Mississippi this month as the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the United States. 

Mississippi health officials on Wednesday reported that seven children have died of COVID-19 complications since Aug. 1. The seventh victim was a child under age 1. 

Thomas Dobbs, the state’s health officer, also reported that eight pregnant women, all of whom were unvaccinated, have also died due to complications from the virus. Some of the babies from the expecting mothers were born prematurely. However, he refused to specify how many of the babies were born. 

"It is a tragic and difficult circumstance," Dobbs said in a press conference, the Clarion-Ledger reported. 

He also continued to urge pregnant women to get vaccinated against COVID-19, noting that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have supported inoculations during pregnancy. 

"The vaccine is very helpful and remarkably successful in preventing these outcomes in pregnant women," he added.

Data have shown that pregnant people are at an increased risk of developing severe COVID-19 complications and deaths. Pregnant women infected with COVID-19 are also more likely to deliver prematurely and are at an increased risk for miscarriage.

Despite the risks, only 24.8% of pregnant women aged 18 to 49 in the U.S. have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Sept. 4, data from the CDC showed. 

COVID-19 cases among children are also on the rise as many schools resume in-person classes. In Mississippi alone, the health department has already recorded more than 75,000 pediatric COVID-19 cases involving patients aged 17 and younger. 

On Wednesday morning, the University of Mississippi Medical Center recorded 18 cases of COVID-19 hospitalizations involving children. 

In Douglas County, Colorado, an infant has also died from COVID-19 complications. The infant had tested positive for COVID-19 on Aug. 20 and died Monday, The News-Review Today reported.

As of Thursday, the U.S. has recorded 735,616 cases among children aged 4 and under. This makes up 2.3% of the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country. There were also 1,473,840 cases among children aged 11 and under, and 1,259,067 among kids aged 15 and under.

The Cuban government has announced schools will reopen gradually, in October and November, but only after all children have been vaccinated The Cuban government has announced schools will reopen gradually, in October and November, but only after all children have been vaccinated Photo: AFP / ADALBERTO ROQUE