Collateral impact of COVID-19: why should children continue to suffer?

Prasad Nagakumar, Ceri-Louise Chadwick, Andrew Bush, Atul Gupta

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The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-COV-2 virus fortunately resulted in few children suffering from severe disease. However, the collateral effects on the COVID-19 pandemic appear to have had significant detrimental effects on children affected and young people. There are also some positive impacts in the form of reduced prevalence of viral bronchiolitis. The new strain of SARS-COV-2 identified recently in the UK appears to have increased transmissibility to children. However, there are no large vaccine trials set up in children to evaluate safety and efficacy. In this short communication, we review the collateral effects of COVID-19 pandemic in children and young people. We highlight the need for urgent strategies to mitigate the risks to children due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What is Known: • Children and young people account for <2% of all COVID-19 hospital admissions • The collateral impact of COVID-19 pandemic on children and young people is devastating • Significant reduction in influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection in the southern hemisphere What is New: • The public health measures to reduce COVID-19 infection may have also resulted in near elimination of influenza and RSV infections across the globe • A COVID-19 vaccine has been licensed for adults. However, large scale vaccine studies are yet to be initiated although there is emerging evidence of the new SARS-COV-2 strain spreading more rapidly though young people. • Children and young people continue to bear the collateral effects of COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1975-1979
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number6
Early online date13 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Influenza, Human/epidemiology
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2


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