What COVID vaccines for young kids could mean for the pandemic

Max Kozlov

Nature | October 27, 2021

A minor is inoculated with the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine in a Mexico City library.
Modellers predict that vaccinating children against COVID-19 could significantly curtail the spread of any new coronavirus variants of concern.Credit: Alfredo Estrella/AFP via Getty

Paediatricians and families in the United States are eagerly waiting to see whether the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will authorize a COVID-19 vaccine for the nation’s roughly 28 million 5- to 11-year-olds. Yesterday, an FDA advisory committee reviewed data from a clinical trial testing a low-dose version of the vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech on children in that age group — and voted nearly unanimously to recommend that the FDA grant the shot emergency approval.

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Kids and COVID: why young immune systems are still on top

Innate immunity might be the key to why children have fared better with the virus. But the Delta variant poses fresh unknowns.

Smriti Mallapaty

Nature | September 07, 2021

Children and adults play with bubbles in a park in a built up area of New York
After extremely low case rates in New York City early this summer, the number of children testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 has begun to rise. Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty

Early last year, children’s hospitals across New York City had to pivot to deal with a catastrophic COVID-19 outbreak. “We all had to quickly learn — or semi-learn — how to take care of adults,” says Betsy Herold, a paediatric infectious-disease physician who heads a virology laboratory at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The reason: while hospitals across the city were bursting with patients, paediatric wards were relatively quiet. Children were somehow protected from the worst of the disease.

Data collected by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from hospitals across the country suggest that people under the age of 18 have accounted for less than 2% of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 — a total of 3,649 children between March 2020 and late August 2021. Some children do get very sick, and more than 420 have died in the United States, but the majority of those with severe illness have been adults — a trend that has been borne out in many parts of the world.

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Stop Jailing 10-Year-Olds: Australian Indigenous Boy Addresses UN Human Rights Body

teleSUR | September 12, 2019

Dujuan Hoosan told the U.N. Human Rights Council that he wants 'adults to stop putting 10-year-olds in jail'.
Dujuan Hoosan told the U.N. Human Rights Council that he wants ‘adults to stop putting 10-year-olds in jail’. | Photo: Maya Newell /SBS

Of the nearly 600 children incarcerated in Australia each year, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids are over-represented.

A 12-year-old Indigenous boy from Australia’s Northern Territory addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva Wednesday during the 42nd session, appealing to its members to help bring an end to the jailing of children in Australia.

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UK: Four million kids living in poverty as earnings fall

by Lamiat Sabin

MORE than four million children are in poverty, new government statistics show as household incomes “ground to a halt” and absolute poverty rose last year.

And nearly three quarters (70 per cent) of children on the breadline had at least one parent in work. according to new data revealed today by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).Read More »