COVID hospitalizations among children under 17 rocket to 280 daily across the US: Doctors say they were treating two or three kids a day only 14 days ago

 The number of COVID hospitalizations among children has soared by up to 14-fold in some hospitals, with the US now recording 280 cases a day among young people..

Dr Nick Hysmith from Le Bonheur Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, says he was treating just two or three children with COVID each day a fortnight ago, but that number has now soared to as many as 28 under 18s a day.  

Dr Hysmith spoke as an Alabama doctor has revealed that most of his child patients are old enough to have received a vaccine that could have prevented serious illness. 

Dr. Scott James, who treats patients at the Children's of Alabama hospital, told NBC News that 'it's been a pretty busy week' as the state has an average of 43 children a day in the hospital with the coronavirus.

'We began seeing increased hospitalizations in children towards the end of July. And we've now surpassed our previous peak from last January,' James said. 

The news came after doctors last week branded the situation the 'pandemic of the young' while noting an increase in hospitalizations among people in their 30s. 

The number of new hospitalizations for COVID-19 among children have rocketed to 280 a day

The number of new hospitalizations for COVID-19 among children have rocketed to 280 a day

A chart shows the number of new coronavirus hospital admissions nationwide for children 17 and under per 100,000 people since the start of the pandemic

A chart shows the number of new coronavirus hospital admissions nationwide for children 17 and under per 100,000 people since the start of the pandemic

A chart shows the number of new coronavirus hospital admissions in the northeast for children 17 and under per 100,000 people since the start of the pandemic

A chart shows the number of new coronavirus hospital admissions in the northeast for children 17 and under per 100,000 people since the start of the pandemic

A chart shows the number of new coronavirus hospital admissions in southern states bordering and including Texas for children 17 and under per 100,000 people since the start of the pandemic

A chart shows the number of new coronavirus hospital admissions in southern states bordering and including Texas for children 17 and under per 100,000 people since the start of the pandemic

James told NBC News that most of the older kids hospitalized are older teens eligible for vaccination but have not yet received the jab. 

COVID vaccines are available to everyone aged 12 and up in the United States, with the CDC recommending that anyone who is old enough to have the jab gets one. 

The doctor told NBC News that medical professionals have found it emotionally difficult to help families with children receiving ICU-level care.

'In our profession, we're called to be near suffering. So we're right where we want to be. We're here on the front lines serving in this pandemic,' James said.

'But I do have to say it does wear on us knowing that so much of this suffering was preventable.'

New COVID-19 hospital admissions for patients 17 years old and under reached an average of 280 per day for the week that ended Wednesday - a new peak for children in the pandemic, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.

That number was up from an average of 260 per day for the previous week, and around 201 per day the week prior.


There have been 49,284 hospitalizations of minor children from COVID-19 since last August as of Wednesday. That number was up 2,112 from the total of 47,172 last week.

Children under age 12 remain ineligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine, while vaccination rates for young adults under 40 continue to lag.

Just 32.6% of children ages 12-15 are considered fully vaccinated, while 45.4% have received at least one jab, according to data from the CDC published on Thursday.

CDC data shows that 43% of teens aged 16-17 are considered fully vaccinated, while 54.7% have received at least one dose.

There has been a total of 169,998,983 fully vaccinated, or about 51% of the total population but about 60% of the population over 12 years old eligible for the vaccine. 

Dr. Marcos Mestre, the chief medical officer at Nicklaus Children's Hospital in Miami, said it has had 86 child patients in August

Dr. Marcos Mestre, the chief medical officer at Nicklaus Children's Hospital in Miami, said it has had 86 child patients in August

Dr. Nick Hysmith - who works at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee - told NBC News that as many as 28 children under 18 have been hospitalized per day, some in ICUs.

Hysmith told the outlet that, until two weeks ago, only two to three children would be hospitalized per day with COVID-19 - usually after they were admitted for other reasons like broken bones. 

'We went from single digits with not really sick kids to 28 kids in a matter of a few weeks, and some of them are quite sick,' he said.

Hysmith said the hospital is sitting at 95-97% capacity, which is more typical for the winter months. 

'That's concerning, because we don't know what's going to happen in the next couple of weeks,' he said.

Texas leads the country for the number of children a day in the hospital for COVID-19, according to NBC News.

CDC data shows that there have been 6,239 children hospitalized in Texas since the start of the pandemic, with an average of 42 new hospitalizations per day this week.

Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, has taken measures to prevent local school districts from enforcing mask mandates which help prevent against the spread of COVID-19.  


Abbott has since tested positive for COVID-19 himself - and several school districts have defied his executive order by enforcing mask mandates.

Florida has the second-highest number of hospitalizations among children, according to NBC News.

Dr. Marcos Mestre, the chief medical officer at Nicklaus Children's Hospital in Miami, told NBC News that it has had 86 child patients in August - up from 16 in June.

'If we continue at this pace, we'll be at our highest number of patients in a month,' he said. He echoed comments from James, noting that nearly all of the older children hospitalized were unvaccinated. 

Of Florida's teenagers eligible for the vaccine, 44% have been vaccinated, according to the Florida Health Department. 

COVID hospitalizations among children under 17 rocket to 280 daily across the US: Doctors say they were treating two or three kids a day only 14 days ago COVID hospitalizations among children under 17 rocket to 280 daily across the US: Doctors say they were treating two or three kids a day only 14 days ago Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 05:18 Rating: 5

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