COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations in U.S. Teens
In the months of March and April, the United States has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases among its teenage population. Many of these cases resulted in hospitalizations. Of the hospitalized teens, one- third required intensive care and five percent needed mechanical ventilation.
Causes Behind the Hospitalizations
Over half of the hospitalized teens had one or more underlying medical conditions. The most common condition being obesity. But, many teens had no reported underlying conditions so healthy youths are still at risk.
Other factors include new and more dangerous forms of the virus. In addition, youths are starting to return to school again, therefore they are more likely to be at risk of exposure. Lastly, changes in prevention methods like mask- wearing and physical distancing could be leading to more hospitalizations.
The Need for the COVID-19 Vaccine
Due to the seriousness of these cases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky advises parents to have their teen vaccinated. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was approved in December for those 16 and older. However, not until last month was it recommended for use in 12- 15 year olds.
Andrew Pavia, professor of pediatrics and infectious diseases at the University of Utah, also suggests teens should receive the vaccine as soon as possible for a number of reasons. By receiving the COVID-19 vaccine teens are able to protect their own health as well as the health of others. Also, it gives teens the ability to begin returning to a normal life.
In addition to the vaccines, teens should be taking other preventative measures until they receive both doses. These include wearing a mask as well as physical distancing.
Sun, L. (2021, June 4). CDC director urges parents to vaccinate teens, pointing to increase in severe cases. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/06/04/covid-teenagers-increasing-hospitalizations/