In a few weeks, for the ômicron . variable It has already sparked thousands of new hospital admissions for Covid-19 in the United States, raising concerns for many unvaccinated Americans under 18 amid the new surge in coronavirus cases.
The average daily hospitalization for children for seven days between December 21 and December 27 increased more than 58% nationwide in the past week to 334, compared to 19% for all age groups, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. United States (CDC). Less than 25% of the 74 million Americans under the age of 18 are vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Experts have warned that Omicron cases are expected to rise faster across the country when schools reopen next week at the end of the winter break.
Doctors say it’s too soon to determine whether Omicron causes less serious illness in children than other coronavirus variants, but its extremely high transmissibility is a major factor driving hospitalization.
“It’s going to infect more people and infect more people. We’re seeing the numbers go up, we’re seeing the number of children in hospitals go up,” said Dr. Jennifer Nayak, an infectious disease specialist and pediatrician at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
“What we are seeing is that children under the age of five are still not immunized, so there are still a relatively large number of children who do not have a pre-existing immunity to this virus,” Nayak said.
Even in New York City, which has one of the highest vaccination rates in the United States, only about 40 percent of children and teens ages 5 to 17 are vaccinated—and adults make up more than 80 percent, according to city health data.
The United States has not yet allowed any vaccines for children under the age of five.
The number of hospitalizations for people 18 and younger in New York City increased from 22 in the week of December 5 to 109 between December 19 and 23. Children under the age of five account for nearly half of all cases. The statewide hospitalization period for people age 18 or under 70 began December 5-11 to 184 between December 19 and 23.
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Among young children, vaccination rates are much lower than in other age groups, as some families are reluctant to introduce their younger members to a new vaccine.
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