Hospitalizations of Children Aged 5-11 Years with Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 - COVID-NET, 14 States, March 2020-February 2022

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2022 Apr 22;71(16):574-581. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm7116e1.


On October 29, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration expanded the Emergency Use Authorization for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to children aged 5-11 years; CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices' recommendation followed on November 2, 2021.* In late December 2021, the B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variant of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) became the predominant strain in the United States, coinciding with a rapid increase in COVID-19-associated hospitalizations among all age groups, including children aged 5-11 years (1). COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET)§ data were analyzed to describe characteristics of COVID-19-associated hospitalizations among 1,475 U.S. children aged 5-11 years throughout the pandemic, focusing on the period of early Omicron predominance (December 19, 2021-February 28, 2022). Among 397 children hospitalized during the Omicron-predominant period, 87% were unvaccinated, 30% had no underlying medical conditions, and 19% were admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU). The cumulative hospitalization rate during the Omicron-predominant period was 2.1 times as high among unvaccinated children (19.1 per 100,000 population) as among vaccinated children (9.2).** Non-Hispanic Black (Black) children accounted for the largest proportion of unvaccinated children (34%) and represented approximately one third of COVID-19-associated hospitalizations in this age group. Children with diabetes and obesity were more likely to experience severe COVID-19. The potential for serious illness among children aged 5-11 years, including those with no underlying health conditions, highlights the importance of vaccination among this age group. Increasing vaccination coverage among children, particularly among racial and ethnic minority groups disproportionately affected by COVID-19, is critical to preventing COVID-19-associated hospitalization and severe outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • BNT162 Vaccine
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Ethnicity
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Minority Groups
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • United States / epidemiology


  • BNT162 Vaccine