FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - It’s not just adults getting sick with COVID-19. It’s also children, and with the new school year just weeks away, many parents are concerned.

With the delta variant now running rampant, more kids than ever are catching the virus.

Dr. Jason Salemi, an epidemiologist who works at USF, said the number of children hospitalized for COVID in Florida is six times of what it was just five weeks ago.

He said in late June, six kids a day were hospitalized for the virus in Florida. Now, we’re averaging 35 kids a day.

“The numbers just continue to head in a really bad direction,” Salemi said.

“Certainly younger people are less likely to fall ill. But anybody that tried to tell you, you don’t have to worry about it if you are a young, healthy person, there are many counter-examples around us now,” said Dr. Francis Collins of the National Institutes of Health.

Pediatric pulmonologist Dr. Akinyemi Ajayi said many of the kids he is seeing are eligible for the vaccine.

With school starting back up in just weeks, he’s urging parents to vaccinate their kids.

And for those younger than 12…

“If you can get those kids to wear masks, the good news is they still won’t get sick, so it’s not all horrible,” Ajayi said.

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