ATLANTA (AP) - U.S. states with high COVID-19 vaccination rates are protecting children from hospitalization, according to an analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Cases, emergency room visits and hospitalizations are much lower among children in communities with higher vaccination rates," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Thursday at a White House briefing.
In August, the hospitalization rate among children was nearly four times higher in states with the lowest vaccine coverage compared to states with high coverage, Walensky said.
The hospitalization rate in unvaccinated adolescents was nearly 10 times higher in July than among fully vaccinated adolescents, Walensky said, citing a second study. Both papers are set to be published Friday in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Children under age 12 are not yet eligible for the shots. Vaccination of adults and teens slows the spread of the virus in a community, making it less likely a child will catch it from someone close to them.