CDC says recent increase in hospitalization of young people for Covid-19 shows need for their age group to get vaccinated

A teenage girl sits in a chair while a healthcare worker administers the coronavirus vaccine to her upper arm

Amy Kreutziger, 14, got a shot in New Orleans in May.
(Photo by Kathleen Flynn, Reuters, via Washington Post)

After decreasing early this year, hospitalizations of adolescents for Covid-19 increased during March and April, illustrating the need for them to get vaccinated against the disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said, “I am deeply concerned by the numbers of hospitalized adolescents and saddened to see the numbers of adolescents who required treatment in intensive care units or mechanical ventilation. . . . “Much of this suffering can be prevented.”

In the 14 states in the study reported Friday, the rate of Covid-19 hospitalization for youth aged 12 through 17 “peaked at 2.1 per 100,000 [residents] in early January 2021, declined to 0.6 in mid-March, and rose to 1.3 in April,” CDC reports. Among those who were hospitalized, nearly a third went into intensive care and 5 percent required mechanical ventilation.

“Researchers suggest that the increased hospitalization among adolescents in March and April may be related to several factors, including more transmissible and potentially more dangerous virus variants; larger numbers of youths returning to school; and changes in physical distancing, mask-wearing and other prevention behaviors,” The Washington Post reports.

The states in the study were California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee and Utah.

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