A study has said that people living with more adults in their households are at increased risk of contracting the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The Scottish study further said that living with children was not a risk factor.
Vaccinating adults, parents and school staff will thus be key to prevent coronavirus infections in children and schools, news agency PTI reported quoting the study.
There has been research earlier which said that Covid-19 is less severe in children and adolescents and most have mild infections or are asymptomatic.
The new study said that given the increased risk in children with underlying health issues, there may be benefits to vaccinating these children over 12. But as increasing age is the biggest risk factor for severe disease, vaccinating older people should remain the priority.
Are Covid-19 vaccines safe for kids?
The study further said that common side-effects seen in a clinical trial of the Pfizer vaccine in 12- to 15-year-olds included injection site pain (up to 86 per cent of participants), fatigue (up to 66 per cent) and headache (up to 65 per cent). These were mild to moderate in severity and short-lived.
However, two more serious, related conditions – myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the heart lining) – have been identified in safety surveillance in the United States, Canada and Israel following mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna).
The highest rates are in men under 25 after the second dose. Based on US data up to June 11, for boys aged 12-17, the rate was 66.7 cases per million second doses.
Outbreaks in schools
The extreme effect on children and adolescents during the Covid-19 pandemic has been the impact of school closures on learning, socialisation and emotional development, especially in children with special needs or mental health issues, said the study.
The US and Canada are vaccinating adolescents partly to build confidence for returning to school, it added.
Do we need to vaccinate children and teenagers to control Covid-19?
The study says vaccinating large numbers of adults will prevent deaths and serious illness and therefore reduce the burden on health systems. But many countries are also aiming to achieve herd immunity through vaccination.