Morgan Flynn, a registered nurse, works in the patient’s room of the Govit – 19 intensive care unit at Dortmouth – Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon. , The anxious tendency of adolescents not to be vaccinated. (Steven Cheney, Associated Press)
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WASHINGTON – Hospital admissions for children under the age of 5 who have been diagnosed with Govt-19 have risen to an all-time high since the outbreak in recent weeks, according to government data released Friday.
Dr Rochelle Valensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the worrying trend of young children not being vaccinated underscores the need for older children and adults to get vaccinated to protect those around them.
Since mid-December, as the highly contagious Omigran variant has spread across the country, the hospitalization rate for these young children has risen to more than four per 100,000 children, from 2.5 per 100,000.
According to CDC data from more than 250 hospitals in 14 states, the ratio of children aged 5 to 17 is one per 100,000.
Overall, “pediatric hospitalization rates are at an all-time high compared to previous points of infection,” Valensky said.
He noted that more than 50% of children between the ages of 12 and 18 and only 16% of those aged 5 to 11 have been fully vaccinated.
Hospitalization rates for children and adolescents are even lower than for other teens. According to the CDC, they make up less than 5% of the average new daily hospitalization.
As of Tuesday, the average number of patients under the age of 18 admitted to hospital with COVID-19 per day was 766, more than double the number reported two weeks ago.
Five states in Georgia, Connecticut, Tennessee, California and Oregon are driven by the trend of very young children being hospitalized, with a steep increase in Georgia, the CDC said.
At one conference, Walensky found that the number of children admitted to hospital due to COVID-19 and those admitted for other reasons but were found to be affected.
The CDC said the rise may be partly due to how the Govt-19 hospitals of this age are defined: a positive virus test within 14 days of being admitted to the hospital for any reason.
The severity of the disease in children during the Omigron wave seems to be lower than it was with the delta variant, said Dr. John McGuire, head of critical care at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
“Most COVID + children in the hospital are not really here for COVID-19,” McGuire said in an email. “They’re here for other issues but have tested positive.”
The country’s foremost epidemiologist Dr. Anthony Fauci said earlier this week that Omigran appears to be causing less-severe illness, but the number of infections caused by its serious infection could still come to many children. Infections, and a certain proportion of them blowing air in the hospital.
Fauci said many children hospitalized with COVID-19 have other health conditions that make them more susceptible to complications caused by the virus. These include obesity, diabetes and lung disease.
Fassi and Walensky have insisted that one of the best ways to protect young children is to vaccinate everyone else.
The increase in hospital admissions raises the concerns of some parents.
Emily Hojara and Eli Chilke, from Sawyer, Michigan, are providing extra care for their 2-year-old daughter, Flora, in May. They restrict her contact with other children, and even grandparents are not allowed in the house unless they are wearing a mask.
“It was a struggle and now with this new variation, I feel like it has taken us back,” Hojara said.
“It’s scary that she can’t be vaccinated,” he said of his daughter.
Dr. is a pediatrician at Lourie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. Jennifer Kuzma said she has seen an increase in the number of children admitted to the hospital by Omigron and understands the concerns of parents, although most are not seriously ill.
“I wish we could have gotten that vaccine already for these young children,” Kuzma said. But he said parents need to be reassured that the vaccination test is not urgent as it may seem like a long wait.
Pfizer announced last month that many believed the New Year would bring the vaccine to young children, but that two doses did not provide as much protection as expected for young people aged 2 to 4 years.
Pfizer’s study has been updated to give a third dose to everyone under the age of 5, and data is expected in early spring.
On Friday, the CDC released a report saying Pfizer shots appear to protect older children from developing a serious but rare COVID-19-linked condition involving inflammation of several organs.
Of the 102 children aged 12 to 18 admitted to the hospital with this condition, anyone who received two Pfizer shots at least 28 days ago did not need ventilators or other advanced life support. In contrast, 40% of unvaccinated children require such treatment.
This condition causes symptoms such as multicystem inflammatory syndrome, recurrent fever, abdominal pain and rash. Most of the children have recovered, but 55 deaths have been reported.
A separate CDC report found that children with Covit-19 were twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes as adolescents without the virus. Scientists are still trying to figure out why, but the virus seems to be attacking the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.