Walensky: Child hospitalization rates spike, though they still have ‘the lowest rate of any group’

Urges vaccination to protect kids from severe illness.
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CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, July 20
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, July 20
(STEFANI REYNOLDS/Getty)

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky on Friday said that the country’s pediatric COVID-19 hospitalizations are markedly up over earlier months, though she noted that children still bear a disproportionately lower share of the hospitalization burden than other groups.

Walensky revealed the data during a press telebriefing on Friday. “Hospitalization rates have increased for people of all ages,” she said during the briefing, “and while children still have the lowest rate of hospitalization of any group, pediatric hospitalizations are at the highest rate compared to any prior point in the pandemic”

Walensky urged the U.S. public to both get vaccinated and get eligible children vaccinated as well. “We know that vaccination prevents severe disease and hospitalizations,” she claimed. 

The data come several days after top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci acknowledged that many pediatric COVID vaccinations actually indicate those merely “hospitalized with COVID” as opposed to “because of COVID.”

"If a child goes into the hospital, they automatically get tested for COVID and they get counted as a COVID-hospitalized individual, when, in fact, they may go in for a broken leg or appendicitis or something like that," he told MSNBC.