New York sees 'four-fold' increase in pediatric COVID hospitalisation: Officials
- Nearly 50% of pediatric cases were ineligible for vaccinations
- 27% of 5 – 11-year-olds have received at least one vaccine dose in New York
- New York was one of the first states to report the omicron variant
New York has recorded a dramatic increase COVID-19 cases that lead to child hospitalisation over the holiday weekend. New York's state department said there was a "four-fold increase" as the omicron threat continues to loom over the country.
The department said that it has "identified four-fold increases in COVID-19 hospital admissions for children 18 and under beginning the week of December 5 through the current week", according to reports from AFP.
The department added in the statement that nearly 50% of the pediatric cases that ended up in hospitalisation fall out of the vaccination eligibility in the United States, which is currently set at ages five and above.
As of December 24, 2021, 27% of 5 – 11-year-olds have received at least one vaccine dose and 16.1% are fully vaccinated. 71.7% of 12 – 17-year-olds have received at least one vaccine dose and 64.1% are fully vaccinated. Adolescents 16 and older are now eligible and encouraged to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster dose, the New York Health Department said.
Meanwhile, New York Governor Kathy Hochul has defended her response to the COVID spread, insisting that the state acted early and did all it could against the omicron variant’s rapid transmission.
Hochul, a member of the Democratic party, also told a news conference Friday that the state is shortening the amount of time essential workers must stay home after testing positive.
The news comes as the White House vowed to boost home testing in the United States as the country is reportedly struggling to cope with the demand amid omicron's spread.
Dr Anthony Fauci-- President Joe Biden's top COVID advisor-- also warned that COVID-19 cases in the US would see a sharp surge, courtesy of the highly transmissible omicron variant, saying, “Every day it goes up and up, the last weekly average was about 150,000, and it likely will go much higher.”