SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– With record-breaking cases of COVID-19, the Omicron variant continues to tighten its grip around our community. 

COVID-19 cases among kids are on the rise, and hospitals are now seeing more children under the age of 5 come through the door. That same age group is still not eligible for the vaccine and is now making up 4% of all COVID hospitalizations nationwide.

“They have seen more in the ER and some in the hospital, but there has not been a big influx of inpatients that I’m aware of.”

dr. robert dracker, onondaga county medical society president

While pediatric hospitalizations remain low, Dr. Dracker is seeing more of his patients test positive for the virus, some as young as 5-months-old. 

“We had 10 positives on Monday, and we’ve had a number of them each day this week,” Dr. Dracker said.

Luckily he said the majority of those infections have proven to be mild, but the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is still adding more layers of protection for children. 

A third dose of the vaccine is now recommended for immunocompromised 5-11-year-olds 28 days after their second dose. Booster shots were also recently approved for 12-15-year-olds at least 5 months after their second shot. 

“Well, the recommendation just came out within the last couple of days, so don’t run to the drugstore just yet to get that. You know the problem is the news comes out before we have the chance to even respond to the instructions from the FDA and the CDC so give us a week or two to find out what the implications are.”

Dr. Robert Dracker, Onondaga County Medical Society President

He added that he had seen an increase in the number of people getting their booster shot, and he’s now requiring it for his staff.