More kids hospitalized with COVID-19 as Omicron spreads: “We need to get child vaccinations up”

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As the Omicron variant continues to sweep throughout the U.S., particularly within the Northeast, unvaccinated folks of all ages are at elevated threat — together with youngsters. The U.S. is averaging 260 pediatric COVID-19 hospitalizations a day, up practically 30% from final week. 

Health officers say pediatric hospitalizations in New York City rose practically five-fold from the beginning of December. Almost all of these youngsters have been unvaccinated.

“We need to get child vaccinations up. We need to get them higher than they are, particularly in the 5- to 11-year-old age group,” mentioned Mary T. Bassett, the performing commissioner of the New York State Department of Health.

In New York state, roughly 27% of 5- to 11-year-olds are vaccinated. Nationwide, that quantity falls to about 23%.

“The vaccine is so much safer than getting the virus itself,” New York Presbyterian chief pediatrician Dr. Sallie Permar advised CBS News correspondent Meg Oliver. “And so giving your child the vaccine keeps them safer than letting them get infected with this virus without any immunity from a vaccine.”

While hospitals usually see an increase in pediatric admissions this time of year, Permar says mother and father ought to take Omicron severely.

The signs are “serious enough to be admitted to the hospital, which again is an indication that this is not just a disease of adults,” she mentioned.

Asked what colleges ought to do concerning the spike in circumstances amongst kids, Permar mentioned, “I think we know so much more about how to keep our children safe, and we also learned how devastating it is to keep children out of school, so I think we should use all the tools we have. Implement vaccination for all the school kids, also use testing, also use masks and our typical hand-washing and social distancing to keep kids in school. Even with this rise in cases.”

New York Governor Kathy Hochul introduced Monday she plans to urge all faculty superintendents to preserve their school rooms open. She says she’s ready to ship no matter further resources they need so in-person studying will not be interrupted.

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