(Bloomberg) – Parents of children under 12 are right to be anxious. For those older than that age, vaccines provide good protection against contagions, and even in the rare case of outbreaks of infections, they greatly reduce the chances of getting seriously ill. Vaccines have yet to get the green light for children under 12, and may not be approved for several months. That means that classes start and younger children have no protection. Additionally, news reports from states like Missouri and Arkansas suggest that more children with covid are ending up in the hospital. So what risk are children at of getting seriously ill? For some perspective, we turned to Sarah Fortune, an infectious disease expert at Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health.
“In the current delta wave, we definitely see that children under 12 are catching it,” he said. “But they end up in the hospital – and die – much less often than adults.” In his home state of Massachusetts, for example, Fortune said children under 12 make up about 13% of reported cases, but 1% of hospitalizations. So far this month there have been no reported deaths of children associated with the virus. In contrast, adults over 80 years of age represent 2% of cases, 30% of hospitalizations, and more than 30% of deaths.
“Children under the age of 12 are definitely getting and are going to get it even in communities with a good level of vaccination because of the transmission of the delta variant through vaccinated and unvaccinated people,” Fortune said. “However, the risk of dire outcomes in unvaccinated children is much lower than in unvaccinated adults.” Fortune said that for her, that fact provides some reassurance. That said, with the spread of delta and an increase in In the cases in places like the United States, it is crucial to mitigate the risk through other methods as well, such as social distancing and the use of masks.
Nota Original:Coronavirus Daily: How Vulnerable Are Kids?
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
Subscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.