NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

For the five weeks from the week ending December 11 to the week ending January 8, 2022, New York State health officials reported hospital admissions for or with COVID-19 among people aged ≤ 18 years increased more than 7-fold statewide.

Image by PIRO4D from Pixabay

In New York City, pediatric hospitalizations were up 16-fold.

Hospital admissions for all age groups combined increased only 3-fold statewide.

The increase in hospital admissions for or with COVID-19 is greater for children than for the population overall. In the most recent week, 54% of children ≤ 18 years admitted had no comorbidities and 64% were symptomatic.

During January 2-8, 2022, among the 47% of children admitted with but not primarily for COVID-19, the most common reasons for admission were acute and chronic medical conditions. COVID-19 may have been an exacerbating factor contributing to the need for hospitalization, but the significance of the COVID-19 diagnosis cannot be determined from these data. Statewide, injury or trauma represented 3% of admissions with COVID-19 (only 18 out of the 605 admissions that week).

The large increases over time have been observed for children admitted both for COVID-19 and for other reasons, but with a positive COVID-19 result. In this time-period, New York City saw a 15-fold increase in admissions for COVID-19 (191 vs. 12) and 18-fold increase in admissions with COVID-19, but primarily for other reasons (186 vs. 10).

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Analyses suggest the relatively greater increases in hospitalizations for children may be due to reduced vaccine coverage combined with modestly reduced vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization for children 5-17 years, and the absence of vaccines for children 0-4 years.

Notably, among children admitted to the hospital for or with COVID-19 during the week of January 3-9, 2022:

• 4% of 5 to 11 year olds were vaccinated and 90% were unvaccinated
• 31% of 12 to 17 year olds were vaccinated and 61% were unvaccinated.