AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– The number of COVID patients in local hospitals has steadily decreased over the last month, and that includes pediatric cases at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia.

The delta variant caused a huge spike in local COVID cases, and kids were no exception.

“We certainly have seen a lot of cases in our pediatric emergency department and, of course, we do know that there are cases of deaths from pediatric COVID,” Chief Medical Officer of AU Health, Dr. Phillip Coule said. “However, as a percentage of the number of cases, those do remain very low.”

Dr. Coule says kids usually aren’t affected by COVID to the same degree that many adults are.

“This group as a whole tends to not get as sick from the disease, does not require hospitalization, and doesn’t become critically ill as often,” Dr. Coule said.

And while pediatric cases are dropping, doctors say they’re still seeing something impacting children… cases of multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C.

“That is a kind of condition where the child can become critically ill because of the immune system going out of control,” Dr. Coule said. “Overall, numbers of cases that require hospitalization and become critically ill in that pediatric age group is low. However, when it does occur, this particular syndrome is quite devastating.”

Thursday, the FDA will discuss whether or not to approve COVID vaccines for children ages 5-11.

“Certainly there are patients in that age group that should be vaccinated, particularly those that have conditions that we know predispose them to poor outcomes with COVID,” Dr. Coule said.

And clearance for the Pfizer shot could come as early as November.