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VERIFY: Yes, pediatric COVID hospitalizations are on the rise. Here's the context.

The rate of 0-4 year-olds testing positive for COVID and being hospitalized are rising. That rate, however, is still far below older adults

WASHINGTON — All over social media people are talking about the surge in COVID-related pediatric hospitalizations.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Friday that they are the highest they've ever been since the start of the pandemic.

"While children still have the lowest rate of hospitalization of any group, pediatric hospitalizations are at the highest rate compared to any prior point in the pandemic," Dr. Walensky said on a CDC media call. "Sadly, we are seeing the rates of hospitalizations increasing for children zero to four, children who are not yet currently eligible for COVID-19 vaccination."

Our Verify researchers looked at CDC's COVID-NET hospitalization data, which confirmed that the rate of COVID hospitalization is higher for those ages 0-17 than it has ever been.

For the week ending on January 1, 2022, for those between 0-4 years old, 4.3 out of 100,000 kids was hospitalized with COVID.

Credit: COVID-NET: COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

For more about this graphic click here.

"Sadly, we are seeing the rates of hospitalizations increasing for children zero to four who are not yet currently eligible for COVID-19 vaccination," Dr. Walensky said. "We are still learning more about the severity of omicron in children and whether these increases we are seeing in hospitalizations reflect a greater burden of disease in the community, or the lower rates of vaccination for the children under age 18." 

RELATED: VERIFY: Yes, Maryland's confirmed cases and death data wasn't updating for weeks at a time

So the CDC is still trying to figure out if this is due to omicron, or just because kids at this age group are not vaccinated.

The CDC Director also said this is a busy time for kids heading to hospitals, so it’s possible, kids are going to the hospital for other reasons and testing for COVID after the fact.

Credit: COVID-NET: COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

For more about this graphic click here.

For context, even though pediatric hospitalizations are higher than ever before, they are still significantly lower than older adults.

For the week ending in January 1, 2022, those 65 and older had a hospitalization rate of 14.7 per 100,000; those 50-64 had a rate of 7.3 per 100,000.

RELATED: Yes, kids can get long COVID, even if they were asymptomatic or had mild cases