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More children hospitalized as Iowa virus activity stays high



FILE - In this Thursday, March 11, 2021, file photo, a health worker loads syringes with the vaccine on the first day of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine being made available to residents at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa posted more than 800 COVID-19 hospitalizations and 130 more deaths on Wednesday as virus activity remains high throughout the state.

Iowa public health officials reported 823 people hospitalized with the virus, including 14 children age 11 or younger. All are unvaccinated. Another five children between age 12 and 17 are hospitalized and all but one are unvaccinated.

The Iowa Department of Public Health also reported 20 people between age 20 and 29 are in the hospital with only one of those patients fully vaccinated.

Of the total hospitalized patients in Iowa, 173 are in intensive care.

State officials also reported another 130 deaths, which they said occurred between Oct. 6 and Dec. 9. State data shows more than 500 people have died since Nov. 1, reflecting an average of about 12 deaths a day from COVID-19.

A year after coronavirus vaccinations began in Iowa, the state still has 36% of the population unvaccinated, the 17th worst rate in the nation, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Vaccination of the youngest children remains slow with state data showing 11% of children ages 5 to 11 fully vaccinated.

Overall, Iowa has 58.1% of its population fully vaccinated, which ranks the state 25th in the nation.

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