The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday urged teens to get vaccinated against COVID-19 — amid an increase in the rate of adolescents being hospitalized with the virus.
“I am deeply concerned by the numbers of hospitalized adolescents and saddened to see the number of adolescents who required treatment in intensive care units or mechanical ventilation,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.
“Much of this suffering can be prevented.”
The CDC boss’ plea accompanied a report by the federal health agency, which found that the rate of coronavirus-related hospitalizations in kids ages 12 to 17 surged between March and April.
Among 204 teens, who were hospitalized mainly for COVID-19 between Jan. 1 and March 31, a third needed to be admitted to the intensive care unit, and 5 percent required mechanical ventilation, the data showed.
The data adds to previous information showing that hospitalizations due to serious cases of the virus can occur in all age groups, even though they happen more often in older adults.
Robert Riccoban, 13, receives a COVID-19 vaccine at Hartford HealthCare’s mass vaccination center at the Connecticut Convention Center.AFP via Getty Images
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine can be administered to anyone 12 and up.Anthony Behar/Sipa via AP Images
The CDC released the report as part of the nation’s effort to encourage teens to get vaccinated, after Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot was authorized for use in 12 to 15 year olds in May.
Nearly 50 percent of the US population, 12 years and older, has been fully vaccinated, according to the agency’s data.
With Post wires