Long Covid could be being drastically overreported in children, an official report suggests.
The Office for National Statistics said only one in 100 primary-aged pupils actually have the condition, despite half of parents reporting at least one of its symptoms.
Professor Russell Viner, a member of SAGE and child health expert, said it showed ‘just how common tiredness and headaches are in children’.
The report showed that 47.5 per cent of parents said their child was still battling at least one symptom of the virus 12 weeks later.
But almost the same amount (46.6 per cent) had similar symptoms despite never having Covid. Most common symptoms were a sore throat, lost voice, coughs and shortness of breath.
The ONS estimated that fewer than one in 40 secondary pupils in the UK have long Covid.
Arguments to vaccinate children as young as five against Covid are ‘scientifically weak’, British experts claimed today after the US moved closer to jabbing infants.
…Professor David Livermore, a medical microbiologist at the University of East Anglia told MailOnline: ‘Vaccinating children to protect adults via herd immunity is ethically dubious and is scientifically weak.’
…Professor Russell Viner, a pediatrician and member of the UK Government’s scientific advisory group SAGE, said it was crucial the UK does not ‘rush to a decision’ in the wake of the announcement in the US.
The risk of severe illness and death from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, is extremely low in children and teenagers, according to the most comprehensive analyses of public health data, co-led by researchers at UCL.
However, Covid-19 increases the likelihood of serious illness in the most vulnerable young people, those with pre-existing medical conditions and severe disabilities, although these risks remain low overall.
The preliminary findings, published in three new pre-print studies led by UCL, the University of Bristol, University of York and the University of Liverpool, will be submitted to the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC)and the World Health Organisation (WHO), to inform vaccine and shielding policy for the under-18s. The studies did not look at the impact of long Covid.
Links from article:
- Full paper on medRxiv: Ward et al. *
- Full paper on ResearchSquare: Smith et al. **
- Full paper on medRxiv: Harwood et al. ***
- Professor Russell Viner’s academic profile
- Dr Joseph Ward’s academic profile
- UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health
- UCL Population Health Sciences
Launching a programme of Covid-19 immunisations for children should be considered only in special circumstances, leading health experts have warned.
They say UK medical authorities, who are currently studying how vaccines for adolescents might be administered, should move with great care over the implementation of such a programme.
THE influence of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (GF) extends right into the heart of the British medical and science establishment. It has been funding British companies, charities, universities and public bodies for almost 25 years.
Professor Russell Viner, from University College London, demanded schools should instead remain fully open in the face of a second wave and cease their ‘flip-flopping’ between closures and openings which are ‘harming’ the education of youngsters.
He was speaking after his recently published study revealed those under 20 are 44 per cent less likely to be infected with the virus than adults.
…’We need to be thinking: “Are we testing too many children?” because of our understandable but probably unscientific and misplaced concerns about children being infected in schools.’
According to professor Russell Viner, President of Royal College of Paediatrics and SAGE member:
- There’s very little evidence for the use of masks in schools.
- Children could potentially spread the virus more if they wear masks
One of the largest studies in the world on coronavirus in schools, carried out in 100 institutions in the UK, will confirm that “there is very little evidence that the virus is transmitted” there, according to a leading scientist.
Professor Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and a member of the government advisory group Sage, said: “A new study that has been done in UK schools confirms there is very little evidence that the virus is transmitted in schools.
“This is the some of the largest data you will find on schools anywhere. Britain has done very well in terms of thinking of collecting data in schools.”