A study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 led to an increased rate of hospitalization in children below the age of 4, which was five times higher than the spread of the Delta variant, according to WebMD.

“COVID-19 can cause severe illness in infants and children,” the CDC said, adding that “COVID-19–associated hospitalization rates increased rapidly among infants and children aged 0–4 years, a group not yet eligible for vaccination.”

According to the data, the highest rates of hospitalization were seen in infants under 6 months. During the Omicron variant's rampage, starting in December 2021, the COVID-19 hospitalization rate peaked at 14.5 hospitalizations per 100,000 children younger than 4. The highest rate of hospitalization during the rise of the Delta variant in September 2021 was 2.9 hospitalizations per 100,000 children.

As nations relax their COVID-19 protocols amid the spread of the Omicron subvariant known as BA.2, infections are surging across Europe once again. Although the U.S. is seeing a decline in cases, experts believe it potentially could follow the same fate as European countries.