7 children in ICU, 2 on life support as they battle delta variant of COVID-19

At least seven Mississippi children are in the intensive care unit as the state continues to battle the rising COVID-19 delta variant

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At least seven children are in the intensive care unit in Mississippi as the state continues to battle the delta variant of COVID-19 — and two of the children are on life support. 

On Twitter on Tuesday, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, a Mississippi Department of Health official, tweeted an update to an earlier report, writing, “With great and personal apologies – MS with 7 children in ICU with 2 on the ventilator (life support). A hospital has corrected its report to us from last evening. And yes – 7 children with COVID.” 

The original assertion was that there were 12 children in the ICU due to the highly-transmissible coronavirus variant.

Barbara Belton gets a shot of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccination from medical workers with Delta Health Center in Hollandale, Mississippi. The state has worked to vaccinate residents in remote areas who may not have access to the internet or to transportation. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

In his updated tweet, Dobbs opted not to use the word “vaccination,” instead urging citizens 12 and over to “protect” themselves. In previous tweets, he has touted the benefit of the COVID-19 vaccines, which are available to those 12 and older. 

Only 47% of Mississippi’s population has been vaccinated against the deadly virus, and only 6% of eligible children have received both doses. 

“Pretty much ALL cases in MS are Delta variant right now,” Dobbs tweeted earlier this week. “The vast majority of cases/hospitalizations/deaths UNVACCINATED. 7% of deaths in vaccinated worrisome – we are allowing too much circulating Delta to reach our most vulnerable.” 

The University of Mississippi Medical Center told WAPT it is treating four pediatric COVID-19 patients, with Dr. Alan Jones saying, “We have had more pediatric admissions than we had early in the pandemic.”

“What we are doing to get ready for it,” he added, “is operationalizing the plan that we have fine-tuned over the recent months to make sure we are ready for the large increases in hospitalizations.”

Mississippi had one of America’s most ambitious post-pandemic reopenings. In March, the state’s Republican governor, Tate Reeves, lifted all mask mandates months ahead of federal guidance. 

Studies have shown that COVID-19 disproportionately affects people of color, and Mississippi has one of the largest populations of African Americans in the nation. 

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