California – The California Children’s Hospital Association is urging parents to fully immunize their eligible children since the recent data released by the Centers for Disease Control indicates that the number of children admitted to hospitals increased by 100% from the previous week.
“California’s children’s hospitals are designed to care for some of the state’s most vulnerable children, whether they’re suffering from respiratory viruses, asthma attacks or cancer, and we perform everything from routine procedures to pediatric organ transplants and cardiac surgery. Unfortunately, like hospitals across the country, the surge in COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant is straining our hospitals not only because we have more highly infectious COVID-19 patients to treat – but also because we have fewer staff, nurses and doctors available to care for these children,” said Ann-Louise Kuhns, CCHA President and CEO.
The highest number of pediatric patients with COVID-19 has been reported at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach since the pandemic began two years ago.
“With the Omicron variant surge, we are experiencing the highest number of pediatric patients with COVID and requiring hospitalization, which is unlike any other time in this pandemic. The most recent data from LA County shows that only around 18 percent of children 5-11 are fully vaccinated. COVID vaccinations are highly effective in preventing severe disease, hospitalizations, and deaths from COVID including in pediatric patients. The vaccines are safe. Please get your child vaccinated,” says Graham Tse, M.D., chief medical officer, COVID physician in charge, Miller Children’s & Women’s.
The Pfizer vaccine has been authorized by the FDA for use in children ages 5–11, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised tweens and teens to receive booster shots five months or more after getting their second dose.
“The best way to protect children from these outcomes is to get them fully vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccinations are safe and effective for adults and children five years and older, and boosters for children 12 years and older have just been approved by both the FDA and CDC. Getting vaccinated today is a tangible way for parents to have greater peace of mind about their children’s wellbeing and for all Californians to help slow the spread of COVID-19 so adults can go back to work, and kids can stay in school and live their safest, healthiest lives.”
Until now, 72.5 percent of children aged 5 to 11 and 27.3 percent of children aged 12 to 17 had not received a vaccination. Since the pandemic began, more than 826,000 youngsters in California have been infected with COVID-19, according to state officials. Speak with your doctor or visit healthychildren.org for more information on being vaccinated against COVID-19.