Omicron variant is sending unvaccinated children to the hospital, scientists say
The omicron variant is sending large numbers of children under 5 years old to the hospital in South Africa.
Waasila Jassat, a South African government adviser, said that week-to-week cases show that hospitalization among children under 5 years old is second to those over 60 years old.
- “The trend that we’re seeing now, that is different to what we’ve seen before, is a particular increase in hospital admissions in children under 5 years,” Jassat said, according to The Daily Beast.
- “We’ve always seen children not being very heavily affected by the COVID epidemic in the past, not having many admissions. In the third wave, we saw more admissions in young children under 5 and in teenagers, 15-19, and now, at the start of this fourth wave, we have seen quite a sharp increase across all age groups, but particularly in the under 5s.”
Jassat said this is in large because people under 5 years old are not eligible for vaccination. Children are “getting sick and need to be admitted,” she said.
- She added that this situation shows “the value of vaccination in the adult protecting the children in the homes.”
South Africa — where the omicron variant was first discovered despite cases circulating Europe — has seen a surge of coronavirus cases in the last week. In fact, the omicron variant has become so dominant in South Africa that COVID-19 cases doubled in a 24-hour period, according to BBC News.