The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is asking parents to get their children vaccinated, and the centers' director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, is using new data to make the point.
The data from 14 states found that 204 adolescents were hospitalized primarily for COVID-19 between Jan. 1 and March 31. Of those, a little more than 31% were admitted to an intensive care unit, and while there were no deaths, almost 5% required invasive mechanical ventilation.
“That's awful, and I don't think that even if there is a low chance, nobody should have the risk of that happening,” said 17-year-old Ella Demarest, who was part of the Pfizer vaccine trial for 16- and 17-year olds.
The data also showed that 70% of the adolescents who were hospitalized had underlying conditions, like obesity, chronic lung disease or neurological disorders. Thirty percent, however, healthy.
Demarest wonders why anyone young would want to risk long-haul effects from COVID-19.
“That would be really frustrating and sad for something that could be prevented,” Demarest said.
Some health experts believe the study considered hospitalizations with positive symptoms of the coronavirus but did not account for patients who got the vaccine and were hospitalized for inflammation of the heart or myocarditis. Other health experts are arguing that there is no evidence at this time of a connection between the vaccine and myocarditis.