Infectious Disease

COVID-19 hospitalization rate in unvaccinated children 10 times higher than in vaccinated children

September 03, 2021

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Unvaccinated teens are 10 times more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 than their vaccinated peers, and ED visits and hospital admissions for COVID-19 are highest in states with low vaccination coverage, according to two new MMWR reports.

The reports were released on Friday amid a sustained spike in COVID-19 cases caused by the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 and as many schools in the United States have opened for face-to-face learning.

The number of children’s hospitalizations for COVID-19 has increased. Source: CDC.

In the US, only children ages 12-17 are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination, and experts estimate that younger children will have access to vaccines by December.

According to the first report to use data from COVID-NET, the CDC’s COVID-19 hospital monitoring network, the weekly COVID-19 hospitalization rate in children ages 0-4 was nearly for the week ended August 14 ten times higher than compared to the week that ends on June 26th.

From June 20 to July 31, the rate of hospitalization in unvaccinated children ages 12-17 was 10.1 times higher than that of fully vaccinated peers, the report said.

By the end of July, only 32% of eligible teenagers in the US had completed a COVID-19 vaccination series, according to the report.

According to the second report, COVID-19 cases, emergency room visits and hospital admissions increased in children ages 0-17 from June to August. ED visits and hospital admissions over a two-week period in August were also higher in states – mainly in the south – with lower population immunization coverage and lower in states with higher immunization coverage, the researchers reported.

“Children and adolescents can suffer severe acute COVID-19, which may be required

mechanical ventilation or other complications such as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children and persistent symptoms of COVID-19, ”they wrote. “Pediatric patients with pre-existing medical conditions could be at risk for more severe illnesses.”

The CDC also recommends that unvaccinated people aged 2 and over – in addition to vaccinated people in areas with high transmission – wear masks indoors, that centers caring for children who are too young to be vaccinated implement universal masking, and that everyone is entitled Patients a Covid19 vaccination.

The AAP has stepped up efforts to convince parents to vaccinate eligible children, including through an advertising campaign supported by the CDC. It has also discouraged vendors from giving the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine off-label to children under the age of 12 since it received full approval last week.

References:

Delahoy MJ et al. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021; doi: 10.15585 / mmwr.mm7036e2.

Siegel DA et al. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021; doi: 10.15585 / mmwr.mm7036e1.

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