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Girl in hospital bed

Pediatric COVID-19 hospitalizations at lowest recorded level

August 1, 2023

COVID-19 hospital admissions among U.S. children under 18 are at their lowest point since September 2020, according to an AAP analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The number of children admitted to the hospital with confirmed COVID-19 in the week ending June 24 was 244.

Current counts are far below the highest count of 6,527 confirmed COVID-19 admissions reported the week of Jan. 17, 2022, during the height of the omicron variant surge. Current rates also are lower than the previous lows in July 2021 just prior to the delta surge (see figure).

Results are based on AAP analysis of COVID-19 pediatric admissions from “COVID-19 Reported Patient Impact and Hospital Capacity by State Timeseries” published by HHS. Pediatric data are available going back to September 2020, with more detailed age breakdowns for children starting in February 2022.  

A closer look at age subgroups shows that younger children have been more likely to be hospitalized than older children. Children ages 0-4 years comprise 26% of the child population but were 57% of the confirmed COVID-19 child hospitalizations from June 3, 2023, to June 24, 2023.

Younger children also are less likely to have received COVID-19 vaccine.

The May 2023 AAP report tracking COVID-19 vaccination among children shows that only 13% of children ages 0-4 years had received any vaccine dose compared to 68% of children ages 12-17.

AAP analysis of COVID-19 vaccination trends are based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Population estimates are from the U.S. Census Bureau.


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