By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There is a troubling new trend on the road to recovery. While overall rates of COVID-19 continue to fall, a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there was a spike in teenagers being hospitalized with the virus.

The new report from the CDC says nearly one-third of teenagers hospitalized with COVID-19 during a surge of cases early this year required intensive care.

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A new report from the CDC documents over 200 adolescents who were hospitalized for COVID-19 from January to the end of March, and 71% had underlying medical conditions — including obesity and chronic lung disease. The trend has underscored the urgency to get teens over the age of 12 vaccinated.

“Last month, FDA authorized and CDC recommended a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19 that can be used in adolescents to prevent disease and hospitalization,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. “I strongly encourage parents to get their teens vaccinated as I did mine.”

Still, some parents remain reluctant, questioning whether the vaccine could affect their kids later in life.

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“There is ongoing misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines impairing fertility,” Dr. Karen Landers, a public health expert, said. “Certainly, these vaccines do not.”

Landers says misinformation is driving vaccine hesitancy, particularly among young people.

“We are concerned that even if we get through this summer with relatively low rates, that we could see an increase in the fall,” Landers said.

Officials say the spike in teenagers being hospitalized is related to circulating variants, children returning to in-person education, and relaxed preventive measures.

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Doctors say children and people who are not vaccinated should take precautions like wearing a mask, even though most COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.

Stephanie Stahl