The director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Rochelle Walensky pled the teenagers to get vaccinated as she showed her concern over the increasing teenage hospitalizations due to COVID-19. She also urged the parents to get their children vaccinated as soon as possible.
According to the reports, there is an alarming spike in hospitalizations of teenager from 12-17 year olds.
“I am deeply concerned by the numbers of hospitalized adolescents and saddened to see the number of adolescents who required treatment in intensive care units or mechanical ventilation,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. Walensky added, “Much of this suffering can be prevented.”
Walensky presented a report by the federal health agency, which shows that the rate of hospitalizations due to COVID in the kids ages 12 to 17 surged between March and April. The report found 204 adolescents were likely hospitalized for Covid-19 between January 1 and March 31, 2021. Although there were no deaths associated to the virus, nearly a third were admitted to intensive care units. Additionally, around 4.9% of hospitalized teenage patients required invasive mechanical ventilation.
The director of CDC said, “In the month leading up to the recommendations of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for teens and adolescents 12 and older, CDC observed troubling data regarding the hospitalizations of adolescents with Covid-19… More concerning were the number of adolescents admitted to the hospital who required treatment in the intensive care unit with mechanical ventilation.”
Some experts say that the surge in the rate of teenage hospitalizations due to Covid-19 is a reminder that children too can suffer badly from the virus.
Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia said on Friday that the surge in cases “tells you children can still suffer and be hospitalized by this virus… We had this notion, initially, that this was just a disease of older people. It’s not true. This virus can also hurt children,”
Offit said that the country has to do better in vaccinating teenagers, and one of the hurdles is convincing the parents about safety of the vaccines amidst the widespread misinformation associated with fertility, menstruation, pregnancy and more.