A new CDC report stresses the importance of vaccination
In March and April, as COVID-19 vaccination began to keep older adults out of hospital, more and more children between the ages of 12 and 17 were being admitted. Many were seriously ill: Nearly one-third of children in this age group who were hospitalized for COVID-19 this year were in the intensive care unit, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the report shows. Nobody died.
Risk of becoming seriously ill and hospitalized from COVID-19 grows with ageBut children and teens can still get sick. The hospitalization rate from COVID-19 in this group was about 2.5 to 3 times higher than the flu in the previous three flu seasons. CDC Director Rochelle Valensky said the new CDC data underscores the importance of COVID-19 vaccination for teens. During a press briefing Thursday. Vaccine shots are now authorized for anyone over the age of 12.
“[The findings] forces us to double our motivation to get our teens and young adults vaccinated,” she said.
The CDC report looked at data from a network of health centers in 14 states. It found that 204 adolescents were hospitalized for COVID-19 between January 1 and March 31, 2021. Of that group, 64 were admitted to the intensive care unit and 10 were put on ventilators. About two-thirds had underlying medical conditions, but about 30 percent did not, indicating that healthy children can still become seriously ill.
The hospitalization rate for this age group peaked during January, decreased in February, and then began to climb back up in early March. Maryland and Michigan both had the highest rates ever in April both states There was an overall increase in the number of cases during that time.
The CDC report said a combination of factors may have contributed to that uptick. During that time children began to return to school and individual extra-curricular activities and those environments may have had outbreaks of COVID-19. In addition, variants of the virus that can spread more easily were circulating. Some regions also began easing COVID-19 restrictions as adults were vaccinated against the disease, which could have spread the virus to people, including teenagers, who were not yet eligible for shots.
approximately 6.4 million children As of June 4, 12 to 17 in the US have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.