RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) – A recent CDC study showing COVID-19 cases becoming more severe in teenagers is cause for concern.
“It is these results in this publication that show that serious illnesses are preventable even in adolescents, which force us to double our motivation to get our adolescents and young adults vaccinated,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.
The CDC examined COVID-19 data in teenagers who were hospitalized this spring. They found:
- A third of the adolescents were admitted to the intensive care unit
- 5% required an invasive mechanical ventilator
- 30% did not indicate any previous framework conditions
“Your child could be one of those children who are not at risk, but they could get COVID. But they could get sick with COVID and we have certainly seen otherwise healthy children come in with COVID. So that’s a thing. And the second thing is, even if your children don’t get sick, they can still pass it on to other people, ”said Smith.
Scientists still don’t know why some children are more at risk than others. In North Carolina, children make up less than 10 percent of people in the hospital and are infected with COVID-19. The CDC is seeing a national increase in these numbers.
“The CDC study authors weren’t really sure why cases seemed to be increasing. So there was a slight decrease in teens initially and an increase in the later months. And then the question arises, could that be due to variants? Could that only be because people are opening up again, seeing each other and maybe spreading even more? ”Said Schmied.
Because of this, Smith said more teenagers need to take the vaccine.
“Even if your child is otherwise healthy, they can still get this disease. And there is a safe and effective vaccine to protect them, ”said Smith.
He believes the more children vaccinated before the next school year, the safer they are.
“If we vaccinate our teenagers, the chances of things getting worse in the fall are very, very small,” said Smith.
Do teenagers need a permit for the COVID-19 vaccine?
Convincing parents is still an uphill battle. A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that only 30 percent of parents said they would get their children vaccinated right away.
North Carolina doesn’t require parental consent for the COVID-19 vaccine, but some providers do. North Carolina state law allows people under the age of 18 to make certain health care decisions if they have the “decision-making ability,” which means they can understand and make decisions about health care needs and options.
If a child does not have consent from a parent or guardian, UNC officials said they will evaluate the child’s decision-making ability and discuss the risks and benefits.
Duke Health officials said they will welcome children 12 and older to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, with or without a parent. If, after talking to the child, the person giving the vaccine has doubts about the child’s ability to make decisions and a team leader agrees, an attempt will be made to contact the parents.
Wake County officials told CBS 17 that they will try to contact them if a parent or guardian is not with the child. If someone cannot be reached, the employees go through the vaccination information and assess whether the patient has the ability to understand and make decisions. They said, according to state law, they will consult with a staff doctor.