CLEVELAND — Across the nation, more children are being hospitalized due to COVID-19. Ohio is now one of six states with more than 100 children in local hospitals with the virus.
"This disease doesn't care if you're an elephant or a donkey. It doesn't care what you look like. What it cares about is the way that it can spread," said Dr. Kenneth Remy. "And when you're vaccinated, you certainly quench that ability and you help yourself stay alive."
Remy, a pediatric critical care doctor with University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children, is sending a warning.
"Sadly, over the next couple of weeks, this is going to get worse," he said.
Remy said for nearly two years he's watched COVID-19 take over the lives of so many families. Spouses losing one another, children saying goodbye to parents. He said now is the time to step up. The doctor compared our current state of emergency to a fire.
"We have some things that could actually quench much of those flames," he said. "What that is is wearing a mask indoors and getting vaccinated and getting boosted because we know that these things will quell those flames and protect our children."
Nationwide less than a third of eligible children -- ages 5 to 17 -- have been fully vaccinated.
In Ohio specifically, the state's dashboard shows, about 13% of five to 11-year-olds have completed their two dose vaccine. That's roughly 997,000 children.
Remy said if parents are hesitant about getting their kids vaccinated, they should talk to their pediatrician.
"We know it works. Let's partner. Let me understand exactly what you're afraid of and let's find the best ways to get out of this together. Let me be there to help you get your children vaccinated if that's what you desire to do," he said.
Children ages five to 17 have been approved to receive the two-dose Pfizer vaccine.
Click here to learn more about vaccination in Ohio.