According to the latest guidelines from the Indian Academy of Pediatrics, a 32,000 member association of pediatricians in India, it says, Children are at limited risk for severe COVID-19 though they will continue to be susceptible to the infection as well be transmitters.
In recent days, there have been concerns that a ‘third wave’ of the pandemic would hit children harder, largely on the presumption that they were proportionally more likely to be unvaccinated compared to adults. The academy statement, however, notes that the third serology survey, by the Indian Council of Medical Research, had found that the percentage of infected children in the 10-17 age group was around 25% which was similar to that of adults.
Two factors that favour children, the Academy statement suggests, is that they have fewer chemical receptors that facilitate viral entry and their immune systems are more primed. However, were a large number to be affected in future waves, that would also result in a substantial proportion of children being afflicted with severe and moderate disease, they add.
“As per data collected in waves 1 and 2, even instances of severe disease in children are less likely to require admissions in intensive care units,” their statement notes, “however, we need to be watchful about how mutant strains are likely to behave.”