Pediatric COVID-19 hospitalization rates 4x higher than amid delta surge

COVID-19 hospitalization rates among children and adolescents were almost four times higher during omicron's peak than during delta's peak, according to a CDC report.

Researchers analyzed data of lab-confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations in 99 counties across 14 states. Though COVID-19 hospitalizations are more frequent among adults, COVID-19 can lead to severe outcomes in youth, the researchers noted. 

Five report findings:

1. During the delta- and omicron-predominant periods, rates of weekly COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 youth peaked during the weeks ending Sept. 11, 2021, and Jan. 8, 2022. The omicron variant peak (7.1 hospitalizations per 100,000 youth) was four times that of the delta variant peak (1.8 hospitalizations per 100,000), with the largest increase among children 0-4 years. 

2. Hospitalization rates among children 0-4 years were about five times higher during the peak week of omicron (15.6 hospitalizations per 100,000) than during the delta period (2.9). 

3. During December 2021, the monthly hospitalization rate among unvaccinated adolescents 12-17 years was six times the rate among fully vaccinated adolescents. Throughout the periods of delta and omicron predominance, hospitalization rates remained lower among fully vaccinated adolescents than among their unvaccinated counterparts.

4. Peak intensive care unit admission rates for both children and adolescents were 1.4 times higher during omicron predominance than during delta predominance.  

5. Findings suggest that incidental admissions don't account for the increase in hospitalization rates observed during the omicron period.  


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