Kids had been at low threat of extreme COVID early in pandemic earlier than delta variant, research suggests

Severe cases of COVID-19 had been very uncommon amongst Canadian kids in the course of the first waves of the pandemic, in response to a new research by researchers who warn the findings shouldn’t be taken as a purpose to not vaccinate youth.

The research was printed Monday by the Canadian Medical Association Journal and checked out 264 reported cases of youngsters hospitalized in Canada between March 25 and Dec. 31, 2020, earlier than the extra infectious delta variant emerged.

Of these cases, 43 per cent had been hospitalized for one more purpose, akin to a fracture, and it was solely after they had been admitted that the positive check got here to mild.

Nearly 34,000 Canadians of all ages had been hospitalized throughout the identical time-frame.

“If you look at the numbers in total, that’s only 150 children hospitalized with COVID during the first two waves here in Canada,” stated research co-lead writer Dr. Fatima Kakkar of Montreal’s Ste-Justine Hospital.

“These are very small numbers, when you compare with what has happened in adults.”

The research was performed earlier than the emergence of the extra infectious delta variant, which now accounts for many COVID-19 infections in Canada.

The analysis additionally came about earlier than COVID-19 vaccines had been licensed for youth aged 12 and older. Of the cases studied, 77 concerned children aged 13 to 17.

Pfizer has stated it intends to hunt authorization quickly for a vaccine supposed for youths aged 5 to 11.

Fever, cough widespread signs amongst hospitalized children

Researchers initially believed that kids could also be at greater threat for extreme illness, since that is usually seen with respiratory an infection within the pediatric inhabitants.

Among the 150 kids admitted straight due to the coronavirus, the commonest signs had been fever (70 per cent) and cough (34 per cent).

WATCH | Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine reveals promise for youths underneath 12:

Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine appears promising for kids under 12

Pfizer says its latest clinical trial data for its COVID-19 vaccine shows promising results in children under 12, raising the hopes of many parents with unvaccinated children. 2:01

Half had a severe form of the disease, with 21 per cent admitted to intensive care and 13 per cent needing respiratory or cardiac support.

Researchers said that more than three per cent of Canadian children — a high among all age groups in the country — have recently been shown to carry antibodies to COVID-19, indicating that they have been exposed to the virus.

But the relatively small number of pediatric admissions shows that children had less severe infections than adults, even though they were potentially infected more often, Kakkar said.

Overall, 39 per cent of children and youth hospitalized for COVID-19 had at least one co-morbidity, according to the study, and those with severe disease were more likely to have an underlying health condition including obesity, neurological or respiratory issues. 

“We often talk about children who have comorbidities and who are sicker … but 60 per cent had no comorbidity,” she said.

“They were healthy children who were hospitalized for the disease. On the other hand, when we look at the severity, the most severe cases were in children who had comorbidities, such as obesity, major neurodevelopmental disorders.”

WATCH | Tam advises parents considering COVID-19 vaccines for kids:

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A reporter asks Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, for her recommendation to folks contemplating vaccinating their kids as soon as the COVID-19 vaccine turns into obtainable to these youthful than 12. 4:01

Study should not discourage vaccination, writer warns

Deaths of youngsters contaminated with COVID-19 had been additionally very uncommon, confirming the findings of other research.

But even with the encouraging conclusions, Kakkar stated dad and mom mustn’t take from the research a way of false safety that would discourage them from vaccinating their kids, given that the research confirmed children who had been in good health additionally ended up in hospital.

We actually have to take a look at the whole well-being of the kid: what will permit them to have a standard life, to do actions, to play sports activities, to see buddies? It’s vaccination.– Dr. Fatima Kakkar

“We do not know, among these children who are in good health, which will be the sickest, and we know that when we have a severe disease, we have consequences,” Kakkar stated.

“A child intubated in intensive care needs months of rehabilitation, and unfortunately we cannot predict which child will fall into this category.”

Unvaccinated kids will even be extra more likely to proceed the unfold of the virus inside their very own household and buddies.

She additionally famous the delta variant is rather more transmissible and presently wreaking havoc amongst unvaccinated adults.

“I do not want to discourage parents at all from having their child vaccinated,” Kakkar stated.

“We really have to look at the total well-being of the child: what will allow them to have a normal life, to do activities, to play sports, to see friends? It’s vaccination.”

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