LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Medical experts in pockets of the country are sounding the alarm, with COVID-19 cases climbing and vaccination rates plateauing.

They fear when kids return to classrooms in a few weeks, the risk of COVID-19 will only get worse.

We have reported for weeks that most people hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated.

As we look to returning to school, doctors are reminding families that children are more at risk where vaccination rates are low. Nevada is one of those states with less than 50% of our state fully protected.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the nationwide average of new daily coronavirus cases doubled in the last three weeks, with the south hit especially hard.

For instance, in Mississippi, seven children are now hospitalized with COVID-19 in intensive care units. Two are on ventilators.

“When you have younger kids getting hospitalized, what do we take from that?” asked Dr. Jennifer Bryan, Mississippi State Medical Associate. “So what we’re hearing is this is a mix of kids with underlying conditions and some that were previously healthy.”

Kids are often the toughest category of the public to convince. A local pediatrician admits kids may feel better about getting the shot if they see their family members get it.

“Keep in mind even though COVID may not effect children in the same severe way that it tends to effect adults, it can still make children quite sick,” said Dr. Michael Tenby of Centennial Pediatrics. “It will require a couple weeks of quarantine at home and not in the school environment. So, getting those kids vaccinated can head off some of those complications that maybe aren’t life threatening but are very inconvenient with things.”

Some experts put it this way: in this phase of the pandemic, there are two life choices:

  • Get vaccinated
  • Or get COVID-19

It is that contagious of a virus.