More young people are being hospitalized with COVID-19, health leaders say


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – As Virginia enters Phase 2 of the vaccination process, some health leaders say the demographic of who is being hospitalized with COVID-19 is shifting.

Since the pandemic began, COVID-19 hospitalizations have largely impacted older adults. In 2020, the average of a Virginian hospitalized with COVID-19 was 67 years old, according to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association.

As older adults are getting vaccinated first, some health experts say more younger patients are needing care.

Related coverage: Virginia reaching for herd immunity as COVID vaccine eligibility expands, demand decreases

“We’re seeing younger people get hospitalized that we’re not seeing in the older populations coming in because they’ve gotten vaccinated,” Mary Morin, Sentara Healthcare Vice President for Clinical Effectiveness said.

Some Virginia health leaders believe younger populations may be letting their guard down.

Leaders say the shift shows the COVID-19 vaccine is working in older adults, and young adults may need to get vaccinated to limit exposure.

Related coverage: NEW INFORMATION: How to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment in Virginia

With adults 16 and up now eligible to get the shot, leaders hope more younger adults will take the opportunity to roll up their sleeve.

Those wanting to schedule an appointment can pre-register on the Vaccinate Virginia website, call the state hotline at (877) VAX-IN-VA, or find an appointment hear them through Vaccine Finder.

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