Should Kids Get the Covid-19 Vaccine? What the Science Says

Girl Getting Vaccinated

Should kids get the covid vaccine? The FDA is currently working to get covid vaccines approved for children under 5 years of age:

According to FDA briefing documents posted Sunday, an agency review found that data supports the effectiveness of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, given as a three-dose series, in preventing the disease in children 6 months through 4 years old. According to another document, a FDA review found that Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine is also safe and effective in younger kids.

See the document HERE.

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 June 6, 2022, Statista reported 13,142,305 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:

According to data as of June 2, 2022, reported covid deaths among children 17 and under accounts for 3% percent or less of all causes of death of children in that age range.

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:

Study #1. COVID-19 in Children.

Although COVID-19 has impacted many children, severe disease is rare and most recover with supportive care.

Read the study HERE.

Study #2. Role of Children in the Transmission of the COVID-19 Pandemic: a Rapid Scoping 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.

Study #3. COVID-19 in childhood: Transmission, Clinical presentation, Complications and Risk Factors.

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.

Study #4. COVID-19 Transmission and Children: The Child Is Not to Blame.

According to the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics:

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:

Study #1. Why is COVID-19 Less Severe in Children? A Review of the Proposed Mechanisms Underlying the Age-Related Difference in Severity of SARS-CoV-2 Infections.

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.
Group of People Wearing White and Blue Uniform
Should children be vaccinated against covid?

Study #2. A Bayesian Model to Predict COVID-19 Severity in Children.

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 the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Respiratory problems
  • Heart palpitations. 

Other potential symptoms of long covid in adults include gastrointestinal problems, nausea, dizziness, seizures, hallucinations and testicular pain.

Covid Studies in Children

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.
Three Children Sitting On Stairs
Should children be vaccinated against covid?

Conclusions

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.

It’s important we give our children the tools they need to survive. Expose them to business and entrepreneurship basics in my book Planting Seeds: The Children’s Guide to Entrepreneurship.

A strong immune system is the foundation for good health. Download a copy of my book The Diet of Success: Healthy Eating Tips For Hard Working Professionals.

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