Seven children in Mississippi are in the hospital fighting for their lives with COVID-19 — with two of them on life support, the state’s top health official said.
“With great and personal apologies – MS with 7 children in ICU with 2 on the ventilator (life support),” Mississippi Health Officer Thomas Dobbs wrote on Twitter Tuesday.
“Please be safe and if you are 12 or older – please protect yourself,” Dobbs added.
It is unclear how old the children are or whether they were eligible to be vaccinated.
Dr. Alan Jones, associate vice chancellor for clinical affairs at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, said four pediatric COVID-19 patients were receiving treatment at his hospital, including the two on life support.
“We have had more pediatric admissions than we had early in the pandemic,” Jones told news station WAPT.
The hospitalizations come as the highly contagious Delta variant has been spreading in the state, which has the lowest vaccination rate in the US.
“Pretty much ALL cases in [Mississippi] are Delta variant right now,” Dobbs, the state’s top health official, wrote on Twitter.
The state recorded 219 new cases and 10 fatalities on Tuesday, bringing the statewide count to more than 325,000 cases and at least 7,451 deaths since the pandemic began, health officials said.