MEMPHIS, Tenn.– The Mississippi State Department of Health confirmed its tenth pediatric COVID-19 death in a child under 18 on Wednesday.

The health department said it has reported one infant death under the age of one, two deaths in the 1-5 year age range, one death in the 6-10 year age range, and six deaths in the 11-17 year age range since COVID was first diagnosed in Mississippi in March 2020.

None of the children involved in the pediatric deaths were vaccinated.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Buyers encourages parents to talk to their health care provider about childhood vaccination.

“Currently we only have seven percent of the 5-11 age group fully vaccinated and 37 percent of the 12-17 age group fully vaccinated. Vaccination is the best protection for our children who are eligible to receive it. For those under 5 years of age, it is critically important that everyone around the infant or child are vaccinated,” he said.

Vaccinations are available for children 5-years-old and older at all county health departments and booster shots are recommended for children older than 12-years-old to prevent hospitalizations and death.

The health department also recommends continued practice of protection efforts such as social distancing, wearing a mask, and avoiding large crowds.