Infant COVID-19 admissions jumped amid omicron, CDC finds

During this summer's omicron wave, COVID-19 hospitalizations were higher among young infants compared to every other age group except those over 65, a Nov. 11 CDC report found.

Hospitalization rates for kids 6 months and younger — who are not eligible for vaccination — jumped elevenfold between April and July when the omicron subvariants BA.2 and BA.5 were spreading nationwide. 

The average weekly hospitalization rate was 13.7 per 100,000 during this time period, compared to 8.3 per 100,000 during the delta surge in summer 2021. 

CDC researchers found the uptick in hospitalizations was not associated with increased illness severity. Average length of stay and the proportion of hospitalized children who required intensive care was actually lower than during the delta period. 

"To help protect infants too young to be vaccinated, prevention should focus on nonpharmaceutical interventions and vaccination of pregnant women, which might provide protection through transplacental transfer of antibodies," the CDC said.

View the full report here.


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