Dec 30, 2021 - Health

Fauci: Child COVID hospitalizations "avoidable" with vaccine

NIAID director Anthony Fauci on Thursday pleaded with parents to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19 to prevent "avoidable" hospitalization in an interview on NewsNation's "Morning in America."

Driving the news: "Virtually all, not 100% but close to that, of the children who are seriously ill in our hospitals from COVID-19 are children whose parents decided they did not want to vaccinate them," Fauci said, adding: "That is avoidable."

  • "If you look at the number of children right now, going to the hospital who are in trouble getting seriously ill, you almost have to say it's the responsibility of the parent to protect their child," Fauci added.

The big picture: Fauci's remarks come amid a surge in COVID-19 cases and an uptick in pediatric hospitalizations, likely driven in part by the Omicron variant.

  • Over the last four weeks, the number of children hospitalized with COVID-19 increased 52%, from 1,270 on Nov. 29 to 1,933 on Dec. 26, according to an NBC News analysis of Department of Health and Human Services data.
  • The states with the starkest increase in pediatric hospitalizations are Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Ohio, according to the NBC News analysis.
  • At least 77.9% of people above the age of 5 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and nearly 66% are fully vaccinated, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

What he's saying: "All you have to do is go to any pediatric hospital right now, virtually anywhere in the country, and you see children there who are suffering, some even dying, who need not be in that situation if they were vaccinated," Fauci said.

Go deeper: Fauci: Data suggests Omicron less severe than Delta

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