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1.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 19: 100429, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1926750

ABSTRACT

Background: We aimed to explore the effectiveness of one-dose BNT162b2 vaccination upon SARS-CoV-2 infection, its effect on COVID-19 presentation, and post-vaccination symptoms in children and adolescents (CA) in the UK during periods of Delta and Omicron variant predominance. Methods: In this prospective longitudinal cohort study, we analysed data from 115,775 CA aged 12-17 years, proxy-reported through the Covid Symptom Study (CSS) smartphone application. We calculated post-vaccination infection risk after one dose of BNT162b2, and described the illness profile of CA with post-vaccination SARS-CoV-2 infection, compared to unvaccinated CA, and post-vaccination side-effects. Findings: Between August 5, 2021 and February 14, 2022, 25,971 UK CA aged 12-17 years received one dose of BNT162b2 vaccine. The probability of testing positive for infection diverged soon after vaccination, and was lower in CA with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. Vaccination reduced proxy-reported infection risk (-80·4% (95% CI -0·82 -0·78) and -53·7% (95% CI -0·62 -0·43) at 14-30 days with Delta and Omicron variants respectively, and -61·5% (95% CI -0·74 -0·44) and -63·7% (95% CI -0·68 -0.59) after 61-90 days). Vaccinated CA who contracted SARS-CoV-2 during the Delta period had milder disease than unvaccinated CA; during the Omicron period this was only evident in children aged 12-15 years. Overall disease profile was similar in both vaccinated and unvaccinated CA. Post-vaccination local side-effects were common, systemic side-effects were uncommon, and both resolved within few days (3 days in most cases). Interpretation: One dose of BNT162b2 vaccine reduced risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection for at least 90 days in CA aged 12-17 years. Vaccine protection varied for SARS-CoV-2 variant type (lower for Omicron than Delta variant), and was enhanced by pre-vaccination SARS-CoV-2 infection. Severity of COVID-19 presentation after vaccination was generally milder, although unvaccinated CA also had generally mild disease. Overall, vaccination was well-tolerated. Funding: UK Government Department of Health and Social Care, Chronic Disease Research Foundation, The Wellcome Trust, UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, UK Research and Innovation London Medical Imaging & Artificial Intelligence Centre for Value Based Healthcare, UK National Institute for Health Research, UK Medical Research Council, British Heart Foundation and Alzheimer's Society, and ZOE Limited.

2.
Children (Basel) ; 9(5)2022 May 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1820186

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Delta (B.1.617.2) SARS-CoV-2 variant was the predominant UK circulating strain between May and November 2021. We investigated whether COVID-19 from Delta infection differed from infection with previous variants in children. METHODS: Through the prospective COVID Symptom Study, 109,626 UK school-aged children were proxy-reported between 28 December 2020 and 8 July 2021. We selected all symptomatic children who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and were proxy-reported at least weekly, within two timeframes: 28 December 2020 to 6 May 2021 (Alpha (B.1.1.7), the main UK circulating variant) and 26 May to 8 July 2021 (Delta, the main UK circulating variant), with all children unvaccinated (as per national policy at the time). We assessed illness profiles (symptom prevalence, duration, and burden), hospital presentation, and presence of long (≥28 day) illness, and calculated odds ratios for symptoms presenting within the first 28 days of illness. RESULTS: 694 (276 younger (5-11 years), 418 older (12-17 years)) symptomatic children tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 with Alpha infection and 706 (227 younger and 479 older) children with Delta infection. Median illness duration was short with either variant (overall cohort: 5 days (IQR 2-9.75) with Alpha, 5 days (IQR 2-9) with Delta). The seven most prevalent symptoms were common to both variants. Symptom burden over the first 28 days was slightly greater with Delta compared with Alpha infection (in younger children, 3 (IQR 2-5) symptoms with Alpha, 4 (IQR 2-7) with Delta; in older children, 5 (IQR 3-8) symptoms with Alpha, 6 (IQR 3-9) with Delta infection ). The odds of presenting several symptoms were higher with Delta than Alpha infection, including headache and fever. Few children presented to hospital, and long illness duration was uncommon, with either variant. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 in UK school-aged children due to SARS-CoV-2 Delta strain B.1.617.2 resembles illness due to the Alpha variant B.1.1.7., with short duration and similar symptom burden.

5.
Lancet Child Adolesc Health ; 6(1): e3, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1596118
6.
Lancet Child Adolesc Health ; 5(10): 708-718, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510511

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In children, SARS-CoV-2 infection is usually asymptomatic or causes a mild illness of short duration. Persistent illness has been reported; however, its prevalence and characteristics are unclear. We aimed to determine illness duration and characteristics in symptomatic UK school-aged children tested for SARS-CoV-2 using data from the COVID Symptom Study, one of the largest UK citizen participatory epidemiological studies to date. METHODS: In this prospective cohort study, data from UK school-aged children (age 5-17 years) were reported by an adult proxy. Participants were voluntary, and used a mobile application (app) launched jointly by Zoe Limited and King's College London. Illness duration and symptom prevalence, duration, and burden were analysed for children testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 for whom illness duration could be determined, and were assessed overall and for younger (age 5-11 years) and older (age 12-17 years) groups. Children with longer than 1 week between symptomatic reports on the app were excluded from analysis. Data from symptomatic children testing negative for SARS-CoV-2, matched 1:1 for age, gender, and week of testing, were also assessed. FINDINGS: 258 790 children aged 5-17 years were reported by an adult proxy between March 24, 2020, and Feb 22, 2021, of whom 75 529 had valid test results for SARS-CoV-2. 1734 children (588 younger and 1146 older children) had a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result and calculable illness duration within the study timeframe (illness onset between Sept 1, 2020, and Jan 24, 2021). The most common symptoms were headache (1079 [62·2%] of 1734 children), and fatigue (954 [55·0%] of 1734 children). Median illness duration was 6 days (IQR 3-11) versus 3 days (2-7) in children testing negative, and was positively associated with age (Spearman's rank-order rs 0·19, p<0·0001). Median illness duration was longer for older children (7 days, IQR 3-12) than younger children (5 days, 2-9). 77 (4·4%) of 1734 children had illness duration of at least 28 days, more commonly in older than younger children (59 [5·1%] of 1146 older children vs 18 [3·1%] of 588 younger children; p=0·046). The commonest symptoms experienced by these children during the first 4 weeks of illness were fatigue (65 [84·4%] of 77), headache (60 [77·9%] of 77), and anosmia (60 [77·9%] of 77); however, after day 28 the symptom burden was low (median 2 symptoms, IQR 1-4) compared with the first week of illness (median 6 symptoms, 4-8). Only 25 (1·8%) of 1379 children experienced symptoms for at least 56 days. Few children (15 children, 0·9%) in the negatively tested cohort had symptoms for at least 28 days; however, these children experienced greater symptom burden throughout their illness (9 symptoms, IQR 7·7-11·0 vs 8, 6-9) and after day 28 (5 symptoms, IQR 1·5-6·5 vs 2, 1-4) than did children who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. INTERPRETATION: Although COVID-19 in children is usually of short duration with low symptom burden, some children with COVID-19 experience prolonged illness duration. Reassuringly, symptom burden in these children did not increase with time, and most recovered by day 56. Some children who tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 also had persistent and burdensome illness. A holistic approach for all children with persistent illness during the pandemic is appropriate. FUNDING: Zoe Limited, UK Government Department of Health and Social Care, Wellcome Trust, UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, UK Research and Innovation London Medical Imaging and Artificial Intelligence Centre for Value Based Healthcare, UK National Institute for Health Research, UK Medical Research Council, British Heart Foundation, and Alzheimer's Society.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adolescent , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Citizen Science , Cohort Studies , Cost of Illness , Female , Humans , Male , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , United Kingdom
7.
Public Health Pract (Oxf) ; 2: 100197, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1447076

ABSTRACT

Children are not small adults. This is a critical point that many pediatricians and other child health professionals get bored of saying, yet it does seem to need repeating. While children have the lowest risk from COVID-19 directly, they risk suffering the indirect impacts of policy decisions, many of which appear to have been made with next to no explicit consideration of their interests. Public health interventions should not only be about infectious disease control, they should consider a broad set of outcomes. In addition, they ought to consider vulnerability, including that in early childhood - a time when young children's brains are developing rapidly and are most susceptible to adversity. We believe that mandating masking of pre-school children is not in line with public health principles, and needs to be urgently re-considered.

8.
Public Health ; 193: 57-60, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1142204

ABSTRACT

Public health professionals and clinicians, in many countries, are immersed in the ongoing and upcoming vaccination programmes for COVID-19. Published information from vaccine trials is complex. There are important and helpful insights about the nature of the available and forthcoming vaccines, immune responses and side-effects from phase II trials. We have systematically summarised information from 10 such trials on the nature of the vaccines, exclusions from the trials, immunological effects and side-effects. Some important information within these trial reports is not available in the phase III trial articles, so a complete picture requires examination of phase II and phase III trials for each vaccine. We recommend our systematic approach for the examination of other upcoming COVID-19 vaccine phase II and III trials.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic , Humans , Immunization Programs , Public Health
12.
Public Health Pract (Oxf) ; 2: 100077, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1033148

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Mortality statistics on the COVID-19 pandemic have led to widespread concern and fear. To contextualise these data, we compared mortality related to COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic across seven countries in Europe with all and common causes of death, stratifying by age and sex. We also calculated deaths as a proportion of the population by age and sex. STUDY DESIGN: Analysis of population mortality data. METHODS: COVID-19 related mortality and population statistics from seven European countries were extracted: England and Wales, Italy, Germany, Spain, France, Portugal and Netherlands. Available data spanned 14-16 weeks since the first recorded deaths in each country, except Spain, where only comparable stratified data over an 8-week time period was available. The Global Burden of Disease database provided data on all deaths and those from pneumonia, cardiovascular disease combining ischaemic heart disease and stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cancer, road traffic accidents and dementia in 2017. RESULTS: Deaths related to COVID-19, while modest overall, varied considerably by age. Deaths as a percentage of all cause deaths during the time period under study ranged from <0.01% in children in Germany, Portugal and Netherlands, to as high as 41.65% for men aged over 80 years in England and Wales. The percentage of the population who died from COVID-19 was less than 0.2% in every age group under the age of 80. In each country, over the age of 80, these proportions were: England and Wales 1.27% males, 0.87% females; Italy 0.6% males, 0.38% females; Germany 0.13% males, 0.09% females; France 0.39% males, 0.2% females; Portugal 0.2% males, 0.15% females; and Netherlands 0.6% males, 0.4% females. CONCLUSIONS: Mortality rates from COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic were low including when compared to other common causes of death and are likely to decline further while control measures are maintained, treatments improve and vaccination is instituted. These data may help people to contextualise their risk and for decision-making by policymakers.

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