MIAMI (NewsNation Now) — Children’s hospitals are sounding the alarm as we continue to hear more stories of kids becoming seriously sick from the delta variant.
Paulina Velasquez, 15, has been in a hospital for almost a month. It got so bad doctors at Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, put her on a ventilator. Now, she is finally through the worst of it.
“I’m feeling much better,” Velasquez said. “I’m just happy that I’m not under that ventilator anymore.”
Like every other child in the hospital’s ICU, Paulina did not get the vaccine.
“I encourage everybody to get it,” Velasquez said. “I didn’t want to get it at first because I was scared.”
Last week, almost 94,000 children had COVID-19, that’s 15% of the total cases nationwide.
The good news is that less than 2% of kids with COVID-19 required hospitalization in most states, and almost none die.
While some studies show the delta variant causes more severe infection in adults, White House adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci says it’s too soon to know for sure the impact that has on kids.
“With regard to children, this could possibly be the case but we are not seeing this in a definitive way,” Fauci said. “The only thing we know for sure is that more infections mean more children will be in the hospital.”
Some school districts around the country are requiring masks for students.
NewsNation’s Brian Entin was in Palm Beach County, Florida for the first day of school on Tuesday. The school district is defying the state ban on mask mandates and requiring all students and staff to wear them for at least the next 30 days. On Thursday, there were already 440 students in quarantine, and 51 confirmed COVID cases, which is why most pediatricians recommend masks.
NewsNation spoke with Dr. Archana Chatterjee about the rise in kids hospitalized with COVID-19. See the full interview in the player below.