4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020


CDC director urges parents to vaccinate teens, noting increased hospitalization rates

Posted at 3:53 PM, Jun 04, 2021

DETROIT, MI — A new CDC study found that COVID hospitalization rates for teenagers increased back in March and April. One-third of these teens required intensive care. Our Chief Health Editor Dr. Partha Nandi. Dr. Nandi breaks down the data:

I would like parents, in particular, to pay close attention as I found this study a bit alarming. You know I’m a parent myself, and while my kids are not in this age bracket, this data really underscores the need to get kids vaccinated when they become eligible.

Between January and March the CDC examined COVID-19 hospitalizations among 204 adolescents. They were all between the ages of 12 and 17. Here’s what they found:

  • 31.4% were admitted to an intensive care unit and
  • 4.9% required invasive mechanical ventilation
  • Roughly two-thirds of the teens were Hispanic or non-Hispanic Black and
  • 52.5% of the patients were female

Now the good news is that none of these teens died. But this study shows that’s it’s not just old folks who end up in the ICU.

CDC researchers found that 70.6% of the teens in the study had at least one underlying medical conditions—35.8% were obese, 30.9% had chronic lung disease including asthma, 14.2% had neurologic disorders and 11.8 % had chronic metabolic disease, including diabetes.

Having said that, here’s what I don’t want parents to do—‘oh my kid is healthy’ and not schedule them to get the vaccine. Because if you do the math, it means this study found that nearly 30% of the kids did not have any underlying medical condition and they still ended up hospitalized.

A new study also found that hospitalization rates for adolescents were 2.5 to 3 times higher than seasonal influenza-associated hospitalization rates during three recent flu seasons. So this shows COVID can hurt kids more than the flu, which is why once again, I am stressing to parents to get their teens vaccinated.

If you are hesitant or have concerns, please talk with your family doctor or your child’s pediatrician as they will be able to give you honest and reliable information.