On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the U.S. had seen an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations in children and adolescents in recent weeks as the more contagious delta variant continues to spread.
The CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) on Friday said the hospitalization rate of children and adolescents infected with COVID-19 increased by nearly five times between June 26 and Aug. 14.
During that timespan, the hospitalization rate of children younger than 4 increased by nearly 10.
However, the CDC also noted that areas with low vaccination rates drove the rise in hospitalizations among children and young people. States with low vaccination levels saw four times as many hospitalizations among children and young people compared to states with high levels of vaccination.
The CDC also notes that hospitalization rates for 12- to 17-year-olds who have not been vaccinated were 10 times higher when compared to those had gotten their shots.
In order to prevent further hospitalizations among young people, the CDC urged Americans to take steps to limit the spread of the virus.
"With more activities resuming, including in-person school attendance and a return of younger children to congregate child care settings, preventive measures to reduce the incidence of severe COVID-19 are critical," the CDC said.
The agency recommends that everyone aged 12 and older get vaccinated against COVID-19. They also called on school districts to implement universal mask mandates for children between 2 and 11.
Earlier this week, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky also said that schoolchildren would be further protected if adults working in schools got vaccinated, calling on local districts to enact vaccine mandates for all adults working in schools.