Omicron Not Severe Among Young Children, Says CDC Despite Rise in Hospitalizations

Omicron Not Severe Among Young Children, Says CDC Despite Rise in Hospitalizations

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A seven-year-old receives the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, US. (Image: Reuters)

The CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky said that the agency did not see any signal to show that Omicron caused severe infections in children below 5 years.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated:January 08, 2022, 07:34 IST
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The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Friday said that it has not noticed any signs which may indicate that the Omicron variant of Covid-19 is more severe in young children. The CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky while addressing a press conference said that there is no signal of increased severity of the disease for children below the age group of 5 years. 

“We have not yet seen a signal that there is any increased severity in kids under 5, who are not yet eligible for vaccination,” Walensky was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters. 

She also attributed the surge in hospitalizations to the increase in cases in general. 

Walensky’s comments come as a record number of young children were hospitalized last week after testing positive for Covid-19, according to data released by the US CDC. The report also showed that the increase was seen in children below the age group of 5 years – the ones who are not eligible for the vaccine – and the data also included children who visited the hospital for other conditions and their results returned positive when tested for Covid. 

The officials, however, said that there was no increased severity among the new cases. According to a report by the New York Times, more than four out of 100,000 children aged 4 years or younger were hospitalized after being infected by Covid-19 as on January 1. The report pointed out that this was double the rate according to data shared a month ago and three times higher than the rate reported last year. 

Walensky however urged that children below the age group of 4 need added protection and asked for them to be surrounded by vaccinated people. “It’s critically important that we surround them with people who are vaccinated to provide them protection,” Walensky was quoted as saying by the New York Times.

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