SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — There's a new, growing concern about COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations among children.
A new CDC study released Friday shows an increase in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations among kids and teens from June to August.
While data from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows close to 204,000 COVID cases reported last week were children.
That's five times higher than the number of children infections at the end of July.
Dr. Abisola Olulade with Sharp Healthcare said a lot of it has to do with the highly contagious delta variant.
"There's no evidence at this point that it's causing more severe disease in children. But the problem with that is you could still see long-term symptoms. This is still harmful to children," Olulade said.
The CDC's study also found case and hospitalization rates are lower among children and teens in communities with high vaccination rates.
A spokesperson with Rady Children's Hospital in San Deigo said five hospitalized children have the virus as of Friday.
The hospital said it's also prepared and has the capacity for a possible increase in COVID hospitalizations.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, San Diego County has seen more than 20,000 positive cases in children under 10.
Sixty-nine percent of San Deigo County's population is fully vaccinated, but Olulade said that's not enough.
"Because it is more contagious, it's a virus that's up the anti and so that threshold for "herd immunity" may have changed," she said.
On the positive end, Olulade said vaccines prove to be just as effective in preventing hospitalizations in teens as with adults.
But with children under 12-years-old still unable to get vaccinated, healthcare leaders urge anyone eligible to get the shot and help protect those who aren't.