Hospitalizations of young children with the virus surged during the U.S. Omicron wave.


Babies and children younger than age 5 were hospitalized with coronavirus at much higher rates during the latest U.S. surge, when the highly transmissible Omicron variant was dominant, compared with earlier periods in the pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hospitalizations of these children were about five times higher during the Omicron surge, between Dec. 19 and Feb. 19, than during the period when the Delta variant was dominant, between June 27 and Dec. 18.

Rates of admission to intensive care also rose dramatically among young children, reaching a peak on Jan. 8 of this year.

Children of color younger than age 5 wound up in hospitals at disproportionate rates. Only one-third of the children were white, while 28 percent were Hispanic and 23 percent were Black. Hispanic people represent just 18 percent of the population, and Black Americans make up 13 percent.