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Omicron variant creates mild COVID-19 symptoms in children, experts say

Hospitalizations may be rising among some children’s groups. But is omicron more dangerous?

Max Lind, 12, gets a COVID-19 vaccine.
Utah Air National Guard medic Stephanie Young gives Max Lind, 12, a COVID-19 vaccine in Highland in August. Multiple experts suggest that the omicron variant may lead to less severe COVID-19 symptoms among children.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Multiple experts suggest that the omicron variant may lead to less severe COVID-19 symptoms among children.

Per The New York Times, early data suggests that the omicron variant causes mild illness from COVID-19 in children, especially when compared to the delta variant.

  • “I think the important story to tell here is that severity is way down and the risk for significant severe disease seems to be lower,” Dr. David Rubin, a researcher at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, told The New York Times.

Recently, there has been concern that the omicron variant may have led to an increase in hospitalizations among unvaccinated children, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

Experts hope that this doesn’t lead to a surge of hospitalizations in the winter. But hospital leaders and health experts maintain vaccination is key to stopping severe illness and hospitalization.

  • “What we’re seeing in our ICU makes it crystal clear that vaccination is the single most important thing you can do to protect your kid from getting sick with this virus,” Dr. James Schneider, the chief of pediatric critical care at Cohen’s Children’s Medical Center in New York, told The New York Times.