Pediatric hospitalizations for COVID-19 increased eight-fold in New York state from early December to late month, with the vast majority of those kids unvaccinated, the state said Friday.
The new report follows on an ominous Christmas Eve advisory to pediatricians, warning that hospitalizations were quickly on the rise as the omicron variant tore through the state.
Friday's report indicates the situation only continued to get worse after that. In the week ended Jan. 1, there were 571 pediatric COVID hospitalizations statewide, the New York State Department of Health said, up from 70 just weeks previously.
Of those admitted, 91% of kids ages 5-11 were unvaccinated, as well as 65% of kids ages 12 to 17.
But overall, more than half of the hospitalizations were in kids ages 4 and under, who aren't eligible for vaccines yet. Kids under age 4 represent about a quarter of all kids in the state, meaning they're being hospitalized at about double their proportion of the population.
In New York City alone, COVID hospitalizations in those 18 and under increased 17-fold, more than double the growth rate for the population as a whole.