New study says there has been a rise in COVID-19 related hospitalization rates among adolescents

A recent increase in Covid-19 hospitalizations among adolescents reinforces the importance of getting vaccinated and practicing prevention measures against the virus, according to a study released Friday.

The report looked at hospitalization data for 12-to-17-year-olds from a large coronavirus surveillance network and found 204 adolescents who were likely hospitalized primarily for Covid-19 between January 1 and March 31, 2021. Nearly a third were admitted to intensive care units and roughly 4.9% required invasive mechanical ventilation. There were no associated deaths. The study was published in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

“It tells you children can still suffer and be hospitalized by this virus,” Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said Friday. “We had this notion, initially, that this was just a disease of older people. It’s not true. This virus can also hurt children,” he added.

Hospitalization rates among young people between March 1, 2020, and April 24, 2021, peaked in the week ending January 9, 2021, at 2.1 per 100,000, then dropped to 0.6 in the week ending March 13. Rates then rose again to 1.3 and 1.2, respectively, for the weeks ending April 17 and April 24. The trend contrasts with hospitalization rates among people age 65 and older, the group with the highest Covid-19 vaccination coverage. During that period, hospitalization rates stabilized for that older age group [CNN].


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