As the US doubled down on vaccinating adults in March and April, Covid hospitalisation rates teenagers (between 12 and 17 years old) went significantly up and many were seriously sick, a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report has showed.
Around one-third of kids in this age group who were in the hospital for Covid-19 treatment reached the intensive care unit (ICU).
"Among hospitalised adolescents, nearly one third required intensive care unit admission, and 5 per cent required invasive mechanical ventilation; no associated deaths occurred," said the report.
Hospitalisation rates from Covid-19 in this age group were around 2.5 to 3 times higher than those from the flu over the last three flu seasons.
"The findings force us to redouble our motivation to get our adolescents and young adults vaccinated," said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.
Vaccination is effective in preventing hospitalisation among adults.
"Similarly, widespread vaccination of adolescents will likely reduce Covid-19-associated hospitalisations, and potential sequelae from Covid-19 in adolescents, including multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), a rare but serious complication of Covid-19," the CDC report said.
"Most Covid-associated hospitalisations occur in adults, but severe disease occurs in all age groups, including adolescents aged 12-17 years," it warned.
Nearly 6.4 million teenagers between 12 and 17 in the US have had at least one dose of vaccine.