Delta variant does not cause more severe childhood COVID: Study
Although paediatric COVID hospitalizations in the United States have increased since Delta became the most common variant, a recent study that looks at the data for the first time reveals fears the variant causes more severe disease are unfounded.
Unvaccinated adolescents were more than 10 times more likely than vaccinated adolescents to be hospitalized between June 20 and July 31, 2021, according to a study published.
Between March 1, 2020, and August 14, 2021, the health agency reviewed hospital records from a 10-percentage-of the US population.
This covers the time between the appearance of Delta variant, the most contagious variant to date, and its dominance, which began on June 20.
Weekly hospitalizations of children aged 0-17 were at their lowest between June 12 and July 3, at 0.3 per 100,000, before rising to 1.4 per 100,000 in the week ending August 14—a 4.7-fold increase.
In the week preceding up to January 9, when the US suffered its winter wave, which was driven by the Alpha variant, paediatric hospitalizations reached an all-time high of 1.5 per 100,000.
Children aged 12-17 and 0-4 are at a higher risk of COVID hospitalization than those aged 5-11. This is consistent with previous findings.
These differences were not strong enough to be statistically significant.
Because the number of hospitalizations in the post-Delta period is very low, additional data will be needed for scientists to be confident in their conclusions.
Vaccine effectiveness against paediatric COVID hospitalizations during Delta was also highlighted in the study.
Among 68 adolescents hospitalized with COVID-19 whose vaccination status was confirmed between June 20 and July 31, 59 were unvaccinated, five were partially vaccinated, and four were fully vaccinated.
This indicated that unvaccinated people were 10.1 times more likely than vaccinated people to be hospitalized.
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