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Experts say 40% of overall kids in hospitals do not have comorbidities

Published: Sep. 25, 2021 at 10:51 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Latest numbers show there are 27 kids hospitalized across the state tonight with Covid-19 and six are in ICU.

Dr. David Kimberlin with Children’s of Alabama said for weeks now they have been admitting two to three times more Covid hospitalizations than they were at the peak of the pandemic.

“Until we are on the other side of the pandemic, all of us are at risk,” Kimberlin said.

State data shows that Covid-19 cases in kids make up about 25 percent of the state’s overall numbers.

“A whole lot of them, third or so end up in the ICU,” Kimberlin said. “Several on vents and we have some on heart lung bypass machines. I mean this is serious.”

Kimberlin said they are seeing these serious cases in all ages.

“These are otherwise rather unremarkably appearing children,” he said. “They look like your children, and they look like my children. If you go to a high school football game on Friday, look around the high school football field. Those are the children that are dying. I mean that is what they look like.”

Kimberlin said underlying conditions can put kids at more risk, but that doesn’t mean kids without them aren’t being hospitalized.

“Overall, about 40% of children have no comorbidities,” Kimberlin said. “But, about 60% do. Certainly, there are things that put some children at higher risk, but we are all at risk.”

Kimberlin said even though cases are trending down throughout the state, that isn’t the case for hospitalized children with the virus.

“I don’t know that I have yet been able to say that I have seen enough of a decline to say we are kind of emerging from it right now,” Kimberlin said.

Dr. Kimberlin said Pfizer’s recent data shows that a smaller dose of the vaccine is safe for five to 11 year-olds. He said that will likely be approved by the end of next month and he said vaccinating more children will help keep pediatric case numbers low.

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