- Coronavirus hospitalization rates among teens rose in March and April, the CDC said.
- CDC Director Rochelle Walensky called the trend alarming.
- Walensky is encouraging parents to get their teens vaccinated against COVID-19.
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The number of teens hospitalized with COVID-19 increased in March and April, after having declined earlier this year, a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report found.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said the trend was alarming and encouraged parents to vaccinate their eligible teens.
“I am deeply concerned by the number of hospitalized adolescents and saddened to see the number of adolescents who required treatment in intensive care units or mechanical ventilation,” Walensky said in a statement.
The CDC has allowed the use of the Pfizer vaccine for people 12 years old and up.
While the majority of those hospitalized for COVID-19 are still adults, the study found between January and March, a third of the 204 teens hospitalized for the coronavirus required a third required intensive care unit admission, and 5% required invasive mechanical ventilation.
“Much of this suffering can be prevented,” Walensky said in the statement.
She added that those who are not yet vaccinated should continue to wear masks and socially distance to protect themselves.
“Vaccination is our way out of this pandemic. I continue to see promising signs in CDC data that we are nearing the end of this pandemic in this country; however, we all have to do our part and get vaccinated to cross the finish line,” she added.
A Washington Post analysis last week found that while COVID-19 cases, deaths, and hospitalizations have been on the decline as more Americans get vaccinated, rates for those who are not vaccinated have not significantly shifted. People who are not vaccinated yet are still at high risk for infection and severe illness.
About 41.4% of the total US population is fully vaccinated, according to the most recent CDC data available at the time of publication.