NEW YORK - The number of children and teens hospitalized due to COVID-19 rose five-fold between late June and mid-August 2021, announced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Friday. The dramatic spike occurred as the more transmissible Delta variant continued to spread.
In one week alone- the week ending August 14- there was a ten-fold increase of hospitalizations for children aged 0-4 in 14 states including New York and Connecticut.
Unvaccinated children fared worse. The hospitalization rate among unvaccinated children aged 12–17 years was 10.1 times higher than that among fully vaccinated adolescents.
The number of children and teens hospitalized in intensive care units increased between June 20 and July 31, just as the Delta variant became the predominant strain of the coronavirus.
The CDC encouraged all eligible children to be vaccinated. The health agency also called for universal mask-wearing in schools, mask-wearing by children 2 and under in indoor public spaces and child care centers, and quarantining after exposure to COVID19.
Throughout the pandemic, the CDC had said that fewer cases of COVID-19 were reported in children compared with adults. Hospitalization rates among children were also lower compared to adults.
Children with underlying medical conditions were at increased risk for severe illness compared to children without underlying medical conditions.
Everyone 12 years of age and older was eligible for a COVID vaccine.
To find a COVID-19 vaccine near you, visit Vaccines.gov.