Omicron Was More Severe for Unvaccinated Children in 5-to-11 Age Group, Study Shows

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Unvaccinated children from 5 to 11 years old were hospitalized with Covid at twice the rate of vaccinated children during the winter Omicron variant surge, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Tuesday.

The study was the latest to demonstrate that vaccines help keep children out of the hospital with Covid, despite the shots losing some of their potency at stopping infections from the Omicron variant.

But the C.D.C. report, based on data from hospitals serving about 10 percent of the U.S. population across 14 states, also offered some of the strongest evidence to date that racial disparities in childhood vaccination might be leaving Black children more exposed to severe illness from Covid.

Black children in the 5-to-11 age group accounted for about a third of unvaccinated children in the study, the largest of any racial group, and made up roughly a third of overall Covid-related hospitalizations within the age group.