New York State Department of Health Releases New Report On Pediatric COVID-19 Hospitalization Data

New Pediatric Hospitalizations Continue to Increase Statewide - Particularly in New York City and Mid-Hudson, Long Island Regions - With the Emergence of Omicron

Following the Department's Dec. 24 Advisory, Report Underscores the Importance of COVID-19 Vaccination, Boosters, and Masking For Children and All Those Around Them

Read the Full Report Here; Read the Summary Here

Read the Updated Full Report Here

ALBANY (January 7, 2022) - The New York State Department of Health today released a new Report on Pediatric COVID-19 Hospitalizations, based on data reported through Jan. 1, 2022 among children 0 – 18-years-old. The new report follows the Department's Dec. 24, 2021 Health Advisory, which identified a concerning increase in pediatric hospitalizations, particularly in New York City, the Mid-Hudson and Long Island regions as the Omicron variant emerged.

The latest report found that from the from the week of Dec. 5 – 11, 2021 through the week of Dec. 26, 2021 – Jan. 1, 2022, new pediatric hospital admissions for children 0 – 18-years-old increased from 70 to 571 per week statewide. Pediatric admissions in New York City increased from 22 to 385 per week and the Mid-Hudson and Long Island regions combined experienced an increase from 12 to 112 per week.

The Department's report underscores the importance of vaccination, as well as signals the protection that may be provided through boosters. Of children newly admitted, 91% of 5 – 11-year-olds were unvaccinated and only 4% were fully vaccinated. Among 12-17-year-olds, 65% were unvaccinated while 26% were fully vaccinated. Moreover, 55% percent of hospitalizations were in children 0 – four-years-old, who comprise only 26% of the 0 – 18-year-old population and remain ineligible for vaccination.

"This report highlights the critical need of safeguarding our children through vaccination," said Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. "Pediatricians, parents, and guardians must do everything possible to ensure their children are fully vaccinated, those 12 and older are boosted as soon as eligible, and that children under four are protected because all those around them are fully vaccinated. During this period of increased spread, layered mitigation is also needed to reduce transmission. This means wearing a proper, well-fitting mask indoors and being conscious of crowds – situations in which the vaccination status of others is unknown."

In the most recent week of reporting, 70% of newly admitted pediatric cases were symptomatic and 54% of children had no comorbidities. Statewide, injury or trauma represented only 2.1% of new pediatric admissions – being just 12 cases of the 571 reported (Dec. 26, 2021 – Jan. 1, 2022).

The Department's new hospital admission data is based on information reported by health care facilities through the Health Electronic Response Data System (HERDS). The large increases over time have been observed for children admitted both for COVID-19 and for other reasons. In this time period, New York City saw an 18-fold increase in admissions for COVID-19 (227 vs. 12) and a 15-fold increase in admissions for other reasons, but with COVID-19 (158 vs. 10).

The Department strongly recommends against discounting infections among those admitted with other reasons as coincidental or harmless infections because it may be difficult to determine from real-time admissions data whether COVID-19 was a contributing cause to the other medical issue that necessitated hospitalization.

Read the Department's full report here.

Read the Department's summary report, which includes visualizations, here.