MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach is experiencing the highest volume of pediatric patients with COVID-19 its seen since the onset of the pandemic.
LONG BEACH, CA – With the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) releasing updated data showing a nearly 100% increase in new pediatric hospital admissions from the previous week, the California Children’s Hospital Association (CCHA) is urging families to fully vaccinate all eligible children and adults against COVID-19.
“California’s children’s hospitals are designed to care for some of the state’s most vulnerable children, whether they’re suffering from respiratory viruses, asthma attacks or cancer, and we perform everything from routine procedures to pediatric organ transplants and cardiac surgery,” said CCHA President and CEO Ann-Louise Kuhns. “Unfortunately, like hospitals across the country, the surge in COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant is straining our hospitals not only because we have more highly infectious COVID-19 patients to treat – but also because we have fewer staff, nurses and doctors available to care for these children.”
At the local level, MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach – one of only eight free standing children’s hospitals in California – is also experiencing the highest volume of pediatric patients with COVID-19, its seen since the onset of the pandemic two years ago.
“With the Omicron variant surge, we are experiencing the highest number of pediatric patients with COVID and requiring hospitalization, which is unlike any other time in this pandemic,” says Graham Tse, M.D., chief medical officer, COVID physician in charge, Miller Children’s & Women’s. “The most recent data from LA County shows that only around 18 percent of children 5-11 are fully vaccinated. COVID vaccinations are highly effective in preventing severe disease, hospitalizations, and deaths from COVID including in pediatric patients. The vaccines are safe. Please get your child vaccinated”
The Pfizer vaccine has been approved by the FDA for safe vaccination in children 5-11, in addition the CDC has recommended boosters to those tweens and teens who are five months out from receiving their second dose.
“The best way to protect children from these outcomes is to get them fully vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccinations are safe and effective for adults and children five years and older, and boosters for children 12 years and older have just been approved by both the FDA and CDC. Getting vaccinated today is a tangible way for parents to have greater peace of mind about their children’s wellbeing and for all Californians to help slow the spread of COVID-19 so adults can go back to work, and kids can stay in school and live their safest, healthiest lives.”
To date, 72.5% of children ages 5 to 11 and 27.3% of children ages 12 to 17 remain unvaccinated. Since the start of the pandemic, more than 826,000 children in California have been infected with COVID-19. To learn more about getting vaccinated against COVID-19, talk to your doctor or visit healthychildren.org.
To learn more about MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach, visit millerchildrens.org.