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Unvaccinated children hospitalized at twice the rate during Omicron surge -U.S. study -Breaking


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: A group of children wearing masks and signs stands during the Veterans Day celebration at Sunset Park, Port Washington. New York. U.S., November 11, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton


By Amruta Khandekar

(Reuters) – The hospitalization rate for children aged 5-11 who have not been vaccinated was twice that of those who had received vaccinations during the Omicron surge in COVID-19, according to a U.S. report released Tuesday.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that for every 100,000 children who were not vaccinated, 19.1 had been hospitalized for COVID-19 from mid-December to late February. This compares with 9.2 for 100,000 vaccinated.

Researchers examined nearly 400 hospitalizations from 14 states over the same period.

This study revealed that of 397 COVID-infected children, 87% had not been vaccinated. One third did not have any underlying conditions and 19% were admitted in an ICU.

Omicron Variant, which is highly contagious, drove coronavirus infected to records levels in the United States in January. This led to an increase of COVID-19 hospitalizations among children younger than 18, raising concern about its impact on those who are not vaccinated.

Before the Omicron surge, U.S. regulators approved the Pfizer/BioNTech CoVID-19 vaccine in October for children 5-11 years old.

According to CDC data only 28% of these children – roughly 8 million – are fully vaccinated. [nL3N2WC2XF]

Also, peak COVID-19 hospitalizations among the children of the age were lower during Omicron than Delta.