DEBIASI: Well, we've always seen a rate of hospitalization in children, even at the earlier surges of this disease. But I think what's being appreciated now is that since the delta variant is causing so much more sheer volume of infections and cases, that same percentage is reflected as a larger number of children that are ending up in the hospital. Now, we have had at Children's over 3,000 kids that we've taken care of with COVID since the beginning of this pandemic. And in this last surge, we are now again filling up our hospital isolation unit beds with children who are sick and have to be hospitalized.

SHAPIRO: So it sounds like you're saying children are the same proportion of hospitalizations compared to adults as before, it's just that because the delta variant is so much more contagious and kids under 12 are not vaccinated that you're seeing a greater number of them.

DEBIASI: That is right. And, you know, if we look at the American Academy of Pediatrics and Children's Hospital Association data, which has really been a very good source of information every two weeks since the beginning of this, children are still somewhere between 12- to 15% of all the cases of COVID and still are about 3- to 4% of all the hospitalizations. And we have not seen a huge change in that, even with this delta variant.

NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks to Dr. Roberta DeBiasi of Children's National Hospital on the coronavirus variant delta's impact on children.

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