CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — There is a growing problem in the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is hitting every state. Most young people in this country are not getting vaccinated, and more than one million of them came down with COVID-19 in the past week. This, in many ways, is the tale of two pandemics.

The eldest West Virginians have done the best. 82% of people age 50 and older have had at least one dose, and most people in that age group have had their second shot, plus the booster dose.

The same can’t be said for the state’s youngest, even though there have been many school clinics. Right now, 23% of all people tested in the Mountain State are positive; that’s a pandemic high. Only 16% of those aged 5 through 11 have been vaccinated, and for the 12-15 age group, it’s less than half of those who are eligible.

“Getting our kids vaccinated, has a very, very minimal side effect. But absolutely having them not vaccinated, if they were to get this, it could be not great stuff,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia.

“98% of the kids that end up in the hospital are unvaccinated and this is now looking at teenagers, 12 to 18-year-olds,” said Dr. Clay Marsh, West Virginia COVID-19 Czar.

The governor’s medical advisors are also warning that the effects of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 are much more severe among children who are not vaccinated. Because of the recent surge in cases, all but nine West Virginia counties are either red or orange, signaling the highest rates of transmission.

Right now West Virginia has 15 pediatric hospitalizations, with one child in the Intensive Care Unit.