Children are "one of our most vulnerable populations" for infection from the more transmissible Omicron variant, according to pediatric critical care physician Dr. Adrienne Randolph.
In an interview with CNN, the physician, who works at Boston Children's Hospital, told the outlet, "we are seeing a very rapid number of hospitalizations in children, they are one of our most vulnerable populations and have the lowest vaccination rates currently."
She continued, "the other issue is that even children who are eligible for the vaccine in many areas, the actual vaccinated rate is not that high. So it varies between 10% and 50% across the United States for even the 12-to 18-year-olds and then the 5 to 11s, some states, it is less than 6% have taken the opportunity to get vaccinated. And these children who are getting admitted are either not vaccinated, or they have underlying medical conditions that put them at risk."
Child hospitalizations from Covid-19 have more than doubled in the last month. Nearly 2,000 children across the US are currently hospitalized with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 cases compared to last month's 700.
As for what parents can do to protect their children, Dr. Randolph urged parents to get vaccinated because "if they get sick, they can't take care of the children who get sick."
"Most of these healthy children are going to do fine, have a mild illness. It is supportive care," she noted.
Dr. Randolph also suggested that parents do their best to "try to isolate" their children if they test positive "to keep others from getting infected because children are contagious when they have the virus as much as adults, so it is important to prevent the spread further."