U.S. hospital admissions for kids with COVID-19 have hit a record high as coronavirus case numbers surge amid the rise of the omicron variant.
Admissions for kids sick with the virus increased 66% over the earlier week to a mean rate of 378 per day for the week ending Tuesday, in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The earlier peak occurred in early September, with a daily average of 342 hospital admissions for children with COVID-19.
The nation, in the meantime, tallied a complete of greater than 550,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, in accordance with the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The earlier peak was simply over 294,000 in January 2021.
A daily average of 355,990 COVID infections in folks of all ages was reported final week.
While the raging omicron variant doesn’t look like extra extreme than earlier variants, together with amongst youngsters, the sheer quantity of circumstances means extra folks expertise critical issues.
Tens of 1000’s of kids have been hospitalized with the coronavirus in the previous couple of months alone. More than 1,000 children have died from COVID-19 for the reason that pandemic started.
“It’s just so heartbreaking,” Dr. Paul Offit, an infectious illness knowledgeable at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, instructed The Associated Press on Thursday. “It was hard enough last year, but now you know that you have a way to prevent all this” with vaccinations, he mentioned.
Offit added that not one of the vaccine-eligible youngsters admitted to his hospital with COVID-19 final week had truly been vaccinated. “They’re struggling to breathe, coughing, coughing, coughing,” Offit mentioned. “A handful were sent to the ICU to be sedated … parents are crying.”
Kristin Moffitt, an infectious illness doctor at Boston Children’s Hospital, instructed Bloomberg: “We are going to feel this surge for weeks to come.”
Vaccinations solely lately grew to become out there for kids ages 5 and up. Only 15% of kids ages 5 to 11 are absolutely vaccinated, and solely 53% of these ages 12 to 17 are, in accordance with the CDC.
And whereas youngsters 5 and older can get the Pfizer vaccine, they’re still not eligible for boosters, which give necessary safety in opposition to omicron.
The majority of kids hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated, in accordance with the CDC. Unvaccinated adolescents 12 to 17 years previous have been 10 occasions extra more likely to be hospitalized than their absolutely vaccinated friends.
Individuals ages 18 to 29, who additionally are inclined to have decrease vaccination charges than older Americans, are additionally being admitted to the hospital for COVID in rising numbers.
Roughly 62% of the U.S. is fully vaccinated, in accordance with the CDC. But solely about 33% of absolutely vaccinated adults have gotten boosters.