Vaccinate Children With Poorly Controlled Asthma to Cut COVID-19 Risk

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The research team from the Universities of Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Strathclyde, and St Andrews and Public Health Scotland analyzed a dataset as part of the EAVE II project, which uses anonymized linked patient data to track the pandemic and covers 99 percent of the Scottish population.

Using the Scotland-wide EAVE II COVID-19 surveillance platform, around 750,000 de-identified health records for 5- to 17-year-olds across Scotland were analyzed, which included 63,463 children diagnosed with asthma.

Among children with asthma, there were 4,339 confirmed cases of COVID-19 between 1 March 2020 and 27 July 2021. Of these, 67 children were admitted to the hospital.

Among children without asthma, there were 40,231 confirmed cases of COVID-19, of whom 382 were admitted to hospitals.

Using two or more recent courses of oral steroids as the marker of poorly controlled asthma, 255 per 100,000 children with poorly controlled asthma had COVID-19 hospitalization compared to 54 per 100,000 children without asthma and 91 per 100,000 of children with well-controlled asthma.

Among children with asthma, 548 per 100,000 children who had been in hospital for asthma in the previous two years were hospitalized with COVID-19 compared with 94 per 100,000 who were not hospitalized for asthma in the previous two years.

The results are published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

Children with poorly controlled asthma should therefore be considered a priority for Covid-19 vaccination alongside other high-risk children.

“As with any medical intervention, it is important to consider both the risks and benefits from vaccinations. Emerging evidence from children aged 5 and older suggests that Covid-19 vaccines are overall well-tolerated by the vast majority of children. It is now for policymakers to decide how to act on these data”, Professor Aziz Sheikh, Director of the University of Edinburgh’s Usher Institute and EAVE II study lead.

These data also underscore the importance of maintaining good asthma control in children, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 vaccines are already available for children aged 12-17 years and also encourage those who have not yet been vaccinated to consider this option, particularly those who have experienced issues with asthma.

Source: Medindia

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