Hospitalization of Infants and Children Aged 0-4 Years with Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 - COVID-NET, 14 States, March 2020-February 2022

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2022 Mar 18;71(11):429-436. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm7111e2.


The B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has been the predominant circulating variant in the United States since late December 2021.* Coinciding with increased Omicron circulation, COVID-19-associated hospitalization rates increased rapidly among infants and children aged 0-4 years, a group not yet eligible for vaccination (1). Coronavirus Disease 19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET) data were analyzed to describe COVID-19-associated hospitalizations among U.S. infants and children aged 0-4 years since March 2020. During the period of Omicron predominance (December 19, 2021-February 19, 2022), weekly COVID-19-associated hospitalization rates per 100,000 infants and children aged 0-4 years peaked at 14.5 (week ending January 8, 2022); this Omicron-predominant period peak was approximately five times that during the period of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta) predominance (June 27-December 18, 2021, which peaked the week ending September 11, 2021).§ During Omicron predominance, 63% of hospitalized infants and children had no underlying medical conditions; infants aged <6 months accounted for 44% of hospitalizations, although no differences were observed in indicators of severity by age. Strategies to prevent COVID-19 among infants and young children are important and include vaccination among currently eligible populations (2) such as pregnant women (3), family members, and caregivers of infants and young children (4).

Publication types

  • Technical Report

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / diagnosis
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hospitalization / trends*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Population Surveillance / methods
  • SARS-CoV-2*
  • United States

Supplementary concepts

  • SARS-CoV-2 variants