(ABC4) – States with lower vaccination rates are seeing more hospitalizations and emergency room visits by children with COVID-19, according to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC says there has been no increase in the length of hospital stay or percentage of hospitalized children and teenagers with COVID-19 admitted to the ICU. Despite this, in August, the CDC says hospitalizations among children and teenagers increased four-fold in states with low levels of vaccination compared with states with high levels of vaccination.
One CDC report shows hospitalizations among less-vaccinated states in the U.S. are 10 times greater than those among those who have a higher rate of vaccinations. Utah is among the states with the second-lowest vaccination rates, falling between 49.75% and 56.30%.
Between late June and mid-August, the CDC reports hospitalization rates rose among those under the age of 17 in the U.S. The rate of children with severe cases of COVID-19 remains largely similar compared with earlier in the pandemic, based on the new data.
In both reports released Friday, the CDC encourages preventative measures to reduce transmission among children and teenagers, including vaccination for those who are eligible and masking in schools, indoor public spaces, and child care centers.
This comes after an unvaccinated girl between the ages of 12 and 17 died of COVID-19 in Utah. She is the second Utahn under the age of 17 to die from the virus.
Most schools in Utah are currently not requiring masks for students and staff. The COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for children as young as 12.