A small study suggests teens not yet vaccinated against COVID-19 face a low risk of hospitalization due to the virus. What’s more, the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found zero deaths in a group of unvaccinated teens under study.
Findings released Friday in the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) drew data from COVID-NET, a surveillance system accounting for about 10% of the national population across 14 states, finding that 204 adolescents aged 12-17 were hospitalized primarily for the virus from January to March 31, 2021. Of the total, nearly one-third were sent to an ICU and 5% required mechanical ventilation, however, there were no deaths.Foxnews
What is already known about this topic?
Most COVID-19–associated hospitalizations occur in adults, but severe disease occurs in all age groups, including adolescents aged 12–17 years.
What is added by this report?
COVID-19 adolescent hospitalization rates from COVID-NET peaked at 2.1 per 100,000 in early January 2021, declined to 0.6 in mid-March, and rose to 1.3 in April. Among hospitalized adolescents, nearly one third required intensive care unit admission, and 5% required invasive mechanical ventilation; no associated deaths occurred.
What are the implications for public health practice?
Recent increased hospitalization rates in spring 2021 and potential for severe disease reinforce the importance of continued COVID-19 prevention measures, including vaccination and correct and consistent mask wearing among persons not fully vaccinated or when required.