Delta does not generate more serious cases of covid in children and adolescents – 03/09/2021

The delta variant does not cause more severe cases of covid-19 in children and adolescents compared to other variants, according to the first data released this Friday (3) by US health authorities.

The delta variant does not cause more severe cases of covid-19 in children and adolescents compared to other variants, according to the first data released this Friday (3) by US health authorities.

Concerns about the consequences of the Delta variant on younger people have been mounting for several weeks in the United States, in the face of a growing number of hospitalized children.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), the nation’s leading federal public health agency, studied inpatient data for Covid-19 in 99 counties in 14 states, covering about 10% of the US population.

In particular, the agency compared the period from early March to mid-June with mid-June to late July, when the Delta variant became dominant in the United States.

Between these two periods, the hospitalization rate of children and adolescents aged 0 to 17 years actually increased fivefold.

But “the proportion of children and adolescents hospitalized for serious illness”, for example with admission to intensive care, “was similar before and during the period when Delta was dominant”.

In detail, of the 3,116 children and adolescents hospitalized in the three and a half months prior to Delta, about 26% were admitted to intensive care, 6% were placed on a ventilator and less than 1% died. After Delta, of 164 hospitalizations recorded in a month and a half, about 23% were admitted to intensive care, 10% placed on a ventilator and less than 2% died.

The differences between the two periods are therefore not statistically significant.

The CDC notes, however, that the number of children with severe cases of the disease was small between mid-June and late July, limiting the relevance of the comparisons made. They emphasize that the data will need to continue to be closely monitored in the future.

Vaccines work

This study also shows that vaccines still protect teenagers against Delta: hospitalization rates were about ten times higher for teenagers who were not vaccinated than for those who were vaccinated during Delta’s dominance period.

In the United States, teenagers can receive their Pfizer vaccine injections from the age of 12 onwards.

In addition, a second study published on Friday shows that adult vaccination tends to protect children from contamination.

He studied emergency room visits as well as the number of hospitalizations across the country in August.

In states with the lowest immunization coverage for the general population, the number of visits to children and adolescents in the emergency room was more than three times higher than in states with the highest immunization rate. And the number of admissions, almost 4 times higher.

“More children get Covid-19 because the disease is circulating more,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said on Thursday, referring to these two studies.

According to her, they demonstrate on the one hand that “vaccination works” and, on the other hand, that “there has been no increase in the severity of the disease in children”.

(With information from AFP)