Covid cases among children continue to grow globally as the Omicron variant spreads, but vaccinations significantly reduce illness severity, a pair of international studies has found.
Two recent American and French studies show Covid vaccines effectively protect children against severe Covid-related complications, such as Multisystemic Inflammatory Syndrome.
The chance of serious illness is rare among children. Still, the risk of contracting Multisystemic Inflammatory Syndrome remains a concern for physicians, Petra Schelstraete, a specialist in lung and infectious diseases (UZ Gent), said during a webinar reported by Belga News Agency.
Children between the ages of 5 and 11 started receiving vaccinations in autumn. Yet, in the U.S. and Europe, scientists suspect the pace of vaccinating children is not keeping up with the fast-spreading Omicron variant.
Between 3 November and 19 December, 2021, approximately 8.7 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine were administered to children aged 5–11 years in the U.S. However, since the pandemic started, more than 10 million children in the U.S. tested positive, including more than 2 million cases reported this month, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The pair of studies, show the importance of vaccinating children, even if children exhibit relatively mild symptoms, Schelstraete said. “This is very good news and shows the direct benefit of vaccination.”