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Central Texas pediatric hospitalizations up, doctors warn more could come

Posted at 8:32 PM, Jan 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-04 23:19:29-05

WACO, TX — As students head back to the classroom this week, there are major concerns ahead — more kids are ending up with COVID-19 in the hospital.

In just one week, there's been a 200 percent increase statewide in child hospitalizations. On Christmas day, there were 93 children in the hospital. As of Jan. 2, there were 279 in the hospital.

Dr. Dominic Lucia with McLane Childen's Hospital in Temple said the patients all have something in common.

"Kids that are getting admitted are getting unvaccinated," Dr. Lucia said.

In his hospital, 12 percent of all patients are COVID positive. In McLennan County, Stephanie Alvey with the health district told 25 News, pediatric cases are climbing.

"11 percent of the cases are in pediatric cases," Alvey said. "Just with this latest increase, we are not seeing a huge portion of the cases being pediatric."

Alvey said that could change.

With schools across the region starting back after a busy holiday season, the fears of more cases in children are on the minds of those on the front lines.

"We support so we do have some concerns as we get back in school and kids are groups and kids are doing things we did a lot better in 2020," Dr. Lucia said.

McLennan County does not have information on how many children under the age of five are hospitalized — those who can not get the vaccine.

The State of Texas does report one-third of children cases are under five.