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Doctors: Pediatric COVID cases appear to be trending down

Published: Feb. 16, 2022 at 7:01 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - COVID cases are starting to drop, and so are the number of children ending up in the hospital sick with the virus.

Dr. Don Williamson with the Alabama Hospital Association said Omicron put significantly more children in the hospital than previous strains and said that was expected.

That’s because Omicron is twice as contagious as the Delta variant, vaccination rates are low among children, and there isn’t even a vaccine approved for children under the age of five.

Just last month, there were 110 children in the hospital with COVID with 11 pediatric patients in the ICU.

On Tuesday, there were 40 children hospitalized statewide.

On Wednesday, Children’s of Alabama reported 23 patients with COVID and fewer than 5 were on ventilators.

Dr. Williamson said overall, the trend shows a decline in pediatric hospitalizations with the numbers continuing to fluctuate.

“We are unfortunately not done yet. We’re not back to where we were prior to this most recent surge. We’re not back to the 230 to 300 cases a day, under 300 patients in the hospital that we were in early December. So, that’s…we’ve got a lot of work to do. We’ve come a long way, but we still have the opportunity to continue to see community transmission, and unfortunately continue to see people hospitalized,” Dr. Williamson explained.

The FDA was supposed to consider Pfizer’s vaccine for children under five this week, but that review has been postponed until April.

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