Child-Hospitalization Rates Highest of Covid Pandemic, CDC Director Says

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Rochelle Valensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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Stephanie Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images

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More children are currently hospitalized with Covid-19 than at any other point in the pandemic, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday, capping a week in which federal regulatory officials in the US made it Struggled to keep. Rapidly increasing growth of Covid-19 cases.

The CDC’s director, Dr. Rochelle Valensky, said it was not yet clear what was driving the wave. But she said older children and adults should be vaccinated and promoted to protect the youngest children, who are not yet eligible for vaccination.

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“We are seeing an increase in hospitalization rates from zero to four children who are not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccination,” Valensky said. “We are still learning more about the severity of omicrons in children, and whether these increases we are seeing in hospital, the greater burden of disease in the community, or the lower vaccination rates for these children under the age of 18 Shows.”

For the week ending January 1, Valensky said, there were 4.3 hospitalizations per 100,000 people aged zero to four in the US, compared with 14.7 hospitalizations per 100,000 people aged 65 and older. is compared.

Valensky said it’s likely that several factors are contributing to the increase in hospitalization rates in children. “It may very well be the fact that there are more cases out there, and our children are more vulnerable when we see there are more cases around them,” she said.

While some hospitalized children are coming to the hospital due to Kovid-19, others are being diagnosed with Kovid-19 while others are hospitalized due to reasons. “I would say that we haven’t seen any signs of increased severity in this age demographic,” Valensky said. “We’ll be looking for it, of course.”

Valensky was also asked about the CDC’s controversial new guidance, issued in late December, shortening the recommended isolation for people diagnosed with Covid-19 to five days. Some health officials have suggested that the agency should require a negative rapid test in five days to end the period of isolation. “We know that the maximum contagiousness during the period you are sick is one or two days before your symptoms and two to three days after your symptoms,” Valensky said.

The press call was over a week busy with the actions of the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration on COVID-19 vaccines and protocols. The agencies have shortened the recommended waiting time before receiving a booster from six to five months for people receiving both Pfizers.

(Ticker: PFE) and Modern

(mRNA

) shots, recommended boosters for people ages 12 to 17, and updated CDC guidance on isolation and quarantine for elementary and high schools.

Covid-19 hospitalizations, meanwhile, are up 65% across the US in the past two weeks. Friday’s press call was conducted by a CDC director for the first time in months, and follows growing criticism of Valensky’s approach to communicating CDC policy. On Wednesday, the American Medical Association pulled up new CDC guidance on isolation for people recovering from COVID-19. “confused” and “upside down”.

Asked if he thinks the US will push for a fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccines, Valensky did not answer directly. “Right now I think our strategy should be to maximize the safety of the millions of people who are eligible for the third shot before we even start thinking about what the fourth shot will look like,” Valensky said.

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