San Francisco, California – Hospitalizations for children under the age of five in the United States have reached their highest levels since the pandemic began. Five states, including California, are contributing to the increase in those figures.
Doctor Grace Lee, a pediatric infectious disease expert at Stanford Children’s Health, stated, “From a local experience, we’re seeing the highest numbers we’ve seen since the pandemic began.”
Hospitals are seeing an increase in the number of unvaccinated children with pre-existing problems, she adds.
Children are still not admitted to hospitals at the same rate as adults. Dr. Lee believes that this shows the efficiency of immunizations.
“It has been incredible in terms of seeing the impact of vaccination and what happens to severe disease. It is clear that vaccines can protect adults and kids from severe disease,” Dr. Lee added.
Many parents are worried about reports that Omicron tends to have a negative effect on youngsters. Billy Singerman sat and waited for his 13-year-old daughter to be given her booster shot.
“We’re real happy about it because we’re scared. We have a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old,” said Singerman.
Since the state of California has expanded eligibility, more young individuals between the ages of 12 and 15 are now eligible for the booster.
Dr. Lee notes that although masking is important, testing and isolation are equally important when experiencing symptoms.
“I think we’re going to have to learn how to live with this and it’s a matter of getting used to it. Making sure that we continue to manage it and know what to do and feel comfortable with how we can protect ourselves and how we can protect others,” said Dr. Lee.