COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Nationwide Children’s Hospital said Monday that 16 children were in the hospital with COVID-19, including four in the ICU, over the past week.

None of those over aged 12 were vaccinated against the virus.

NCH said in a media release that central Ohio has seen an uptick in pediatric COVID-19 cases, as well as other respiratory viruses. The figures for the past week were:

  • Average number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19: 16
  • Average number of ICU patients with COVID-19: 4
  • Hospitalized patients (aged 12+) who are unvaccinated: 100%

​​​​​This data, combined with the number of positive pediatric cases in our community, shows that COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses are rapidly spreading, the media release stated.

While a majority of patients will not require hospitalization for COVID-19, children – even healthy children – who are hospitalized, can become very ill. Like many other pediatric hospitals in Ohio, COVID-19 and RSV, combined with staffing challenges have put a strain on emergency rooms and urgent care centers, leading to higher-than-normal wait times.

Children exposed to COVID-19 do not need to go to the emergency room if they have no or mild symptoms. The ER is designed for emergency, lifesaving care. Instead, get them tested, the media release said.
Nationwide Children’s is now providing Pfizer vaccine booster doses for people with certain health risks and employees working in certain settings, in response to approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Booster doses have not been approved for the Moderna or Janssen/Johnson and Johnson vaccines, the media release concluded.