SAN DIEGO – The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging teenagers to get vaccinated and warning that even young people can be hospitalized by the illness.
The CDC recommended the use of the Pfizer vaccine in people 12 years and older last month on May 12.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky says she is “deeply concerned by the numbers of hospitalized adolescents and saddened to see the number of adolescents who required treatment in intensive care units or mechanical ventilation.”
A report shows that between January and March 204 teens were hospitalized due to COVID-19: 1/3 required ICU admission, and 5% required a ventilator. None of the teens died.
According to Walensky, the only way to prevent from teens from being hospitalized is to get vaccinated.
“Unfortunately, COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate against age, gender, race and ethnicity,” said Dr. Edward Cachay, UCSD Health, Infectious Disease Specialist.
Cachay says 70% of those admitted had underlying risk factors, “the main one, overweight and obesity, however one-third of the teenagers that were hospitalized did not have any risk factors whatsoever.”
“I ask parents, relatives and close friends to join me and talk with teens about the importance of these prevention strategies and to encourage them to get vaccinated,” stated Walensky.
San Diego County has surpassed more than 2 million San Diegans vaccinated, including 134,000 recipients between the ages of 12 and 19.
You can see the full list of Pfizer vaccine locations here.
Rady’s Children’s Hospital is also accepting appointments on their website for anybody 12 years and older.