As Covid continues to be a problem around the world, many people are stepping up to get vaccines. To help decrease the spread of the virus, Pfizer recently requested emergency use authorization of their vaccine for children aged 5 to 11:
Should kids get vaccinated against covid? As parents decide if their children should get the vaccine, scientists have been studying the effects of the virus on children. Here are a few scientific studies and their findings on covid severity, long covid and transmission rates for children. Readers can draw their own conclusions.
Prevalence of Covid By Age
On September 29, 2021, Statista reported 4,818,128 covid cases for children aged 17 and under. (Click on the pics to enlarge):
See the full report HERE.
The CDC also compile information on covid cases and death rates for those aged 17 and under:
As of October 6, 2021, there were 499 reported covid deaths among children 17 and under. This would make the mortality rate from covid for children aged 17 and under less than one percent.
Next, we have information from the California Department of Health:
Children and Covid Transmission
Another important topic is covid transmission rates and statistics for children. Here are a few scientific studies to review:
“Studies analysing school transmission showed children as not a driver of transmission. Prevalence of COVID-19 IgG antibody in children <15 years was lower than the general population in the Spanish study. Children are not transmitters to a greater extent than adults.“See the study HERE.
“Children less than 18 years of age account for an estimated 2%-5% of reported severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) cases globally. Lower prevalence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among children, in addition to higher numbers of mild and asymptomatic cases, continues to provide challenges in determining appropriate prevention and treatment courses.“Read the study HERE.
“These data all suggest that children are not significant drivers of the COVID-19 pandemic. Accumulating evidence and collective experience argue that children, particularly school-aged children, are far less important drivers of SARS-CoV-2 transmission than adults.“Read the full study HERE.
Severity of Covid in Children
Another important area of concern is how covid impacts children. Studies on the severity of covid in children have been conducted as well:
“In contrast to other respiratory viruses, children have less severe symptoms when infected with the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Factors that might protect children include: (1) differences in innate and adaptive immunity; (2) more frequent recurrent and concurrent infections; (3) pre-existing immunity to coronaviruses; (4) differences in microbiota; (5) higher levels of melatonin; (6) protective off-target effects of live vaccines and (7) lower intensity of exposure to SARS-CoV-2.“Read the full study HERE.
“We aimed to identify risk factors causing critical disease in hospitalized children with COVID-19 and to build a predictive model to anticipate the probability of need for critical care. Main risk factors were high C-reactive protein and creatinine concentration, lymphopenia, low platelets, anemia, tachycardia, age, neutrophilia, leukocytosis, and low oxygen saturation.“Read the full study HERE.
Study #3. COVID-19 in Children: Where Do We Stand?
“Serologic surveys indicate that half of children tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 report no symptoms. In general, children with COVID-19 are at lower risk of hospitalization and life-threatening complications. Very recently the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health authorities recommend vaccination of children 12 years or older to protect them but mostly to contribute to the achievement of herd immunity.“Read the full study HERE.
Long Covid Symptoms in Children
Long covid is defined by the World Health organization as follows:
“Post COVID-19 condition occurs in individuals with a history of probable or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, usually 3 months from the onset of COVID-19 with symptoms that last for at least 2 months and cannot be explained by an alternative diagnosis.”
Symptoms of long covid can include include the following:
- Muscle and joint pain
- Respiratory problems
- Heart palpitations.
Other potential symptoms of long covid in adults include gastrointestinal problems, nausea, dizziness, seizures, hallucinations and testicular pain.
Studies are ongoing, but researchers studying long covid in children made the following observations:
Study #1. Long COVID in Children and Adolescents.
An Iranian study on 58 children diagnosed with covid noted the following:
“Long covid symptoms included fatigue in 12 (21%), shortness of breath in 7 (12%), exercise intolerance in 7 (12%), weakness in 6 (10%), and walking intolerance in 5 (9%) individuals. Older age, muscle pain on admission, and intensive care unit admission were significantly associated with long COVID.”Read the study HERE.
Study #2. Children With Long Covid.
“Children seem to be fairly well-protected from the most severe symptoms of covid-19. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the majority of children don’t develop symptoms when infected with the coronavirus, or their symptoms are very mild.
Evidence from the first study of long covid in children suggests that more than half of children aged between 6 and 16 years old who contract the virus have at least one symptom lasting more than 120 days, with 42.6 per cent impaired by these symptoms during daily activities.Read the full study HERE.
Studies indicate children diagnosed with covid-19 may be at a lower risk of serious illness and hospitalizations than adults. It is believed children are not the main carriers of the virus, but might be able to spread it to others. Children with pre-existing conditions or health issues may be at an increased risk of complications from coronavirus, and the impact of long covid symptoms in children needs to be studied further.
Parents are advised to do additional research and discuss with their physician on whether to get their children should get the covid vaccine.