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.
- Per The Los Angeles Times, health officials in California have been monitoring New York, which has seen a “4-fold” increase in pediatric hospital COVID-19 admissions because of the omicron variant.
- About half of these children who are admitted to hospitals are younger than 5, which means that they don’t qualify for the COVID-19 vaccine yet, according to The Los Angeles Times.
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.