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Hospitalizations Up Among Infants Younger Than 6 Months During Omicron

Last Updated: November 15, 2022.

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Nov. 15, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- During the omicron-predominant period, there was an increase in weekly hospitalizations among infants aged younger than 6 months, but the prevalence of indicators of severe disease did not increase among these infants, according to research published in the Nov. 11 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Sarah Hamid, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data from the Coronavirus Disease 2019-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network to describe changes in the age distribution of COVID-19-associated hospitalizations since the delta-predominant period (June 20 to Dec. 18, 2021), focusing on infants aged younger than 6 months.

The researchers found an increase in weekly hospitalizations per 100,000 infants aged younger than 6 months from a nadir of 2.2 (week ending April 9, 2022) to a peak of 26.0 (week ending July 23, 2022) during the omicron BA.2/BA.5-predominant periods (Dec. 19, 2021, to Aug. 31, 2022). Among these infants, the average weekly hospitalization rate was similar to that of adults aged 65 to 74 years (13.7 and 13.8, respectively). There was no increase seen in the prevalence of indicators of severe disease among hospitalized infants since the delta-predominant period.

"To help protect both pregnant women and infants too young to be vaccinated, prevention should focus on ensuring that pregnant women stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccines," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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