COVID-19 Publications

COVID-19 herd immunity by immunisation: are children in the herd?

Tags: | April 27th, 2021

Authors: S. Obaro

Published in: The Lancet


Introduction: The scourge of COVID-19 has been global, but the most affected subgroups in the population have largely been older people and individuals with comorbid conditions that predispose them to increasingly severe disease and poor outcomes. Overall, the disease burden in children has been reasonably mild, even in those with comorbidities, such as oncological conditions. Protection from severe disease in children might be related to a lower expression of host factors required for viral replication, and to differences in the magnitude and timing of innate or adaptive immune responses. Data for recorded COVID-19 cases show that only 7% of children younger than 18 years with severe disease required intensive care, whereas 53% of adults who had severe disease required intensive care.1–3 Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, arguably the most dreaded presentation, typically presents between 3 and 6 weeks after SARS-CoV-2 exposure.4 Most patients at presentation have a negative nasopharyngeal RT-PCR but are positive for serology.


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