Astonishing charts show how Covid poses a tiny threat to children: Official data shows risk of dying from virus is one in 300,000 for 10 to 14-year-olds
- Risk of dying after Covid positive result around one in 330,000 boys aged 10 to 14 and one in 200,000 girls
- For comparison, one in every 25 people over the age of 90 who catch Covid succumb to the disease
- Experts today said the findings for children were reassuring and reiterated that age is one of biggest risks
Children who catch Covid face as little as one in 300,000 chance of dying from the virus, according to UK Government data.
Figures published by the Department of Health highlight the tiny risk children face from coronavirus, which becomes deadlier the older a person is.
They show around one in 330,000 boys aged 10-14 and one in 200,000 girls of the same age who test positive for Covid end up dying.
The rates include both healthy children and those with underlying health conditions which put them at a much higher risk of dying from the disease.
Britain’s vaccine advisory panel, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), has said that the risk of Covid death in a healthy child is around one in 2million.
For comparison, the figures suggest one in every 25 people over the age of 90 who catch Covid succumb to the disease. For people in their 80s it is about one in 90 and those in their 60s have a death rate of about one per 1,000 — rates which have been drastically slashed by vaccines.
Experts today said the findings for children were reassuring. It comes after millions of 12 to 15-year-olds were made eligible for a single dose of Pfizer’s jab last week.
The JCVI said earlier this month that immunising them would only provide ‘marginal’ benefit to their health, which was not enough to advise a mass rollout.
But the experts recommended that ministers sought the advice of Professor Chris Whitty and the chief medical officers in the devolved nations.
They came down in favour of expanding the inoculation drive after weighing up the wider benefits to children, claiming that hundreds of thousands of school absences could be prevented.
Public Health England’s report also showed Britons were up to ten times more likely to die from Covid if they were unvaccinated than if they had received both jabs. The above graph shows the Covid death rate among people who had not been jabbed (red) compared to those who had received both doses (blue). The data is for August only and England. The rate for Covid deaths was worked out by dividing the total number of vaccinated and unvaccinated people who died with the virus by the total number of people in each category in the population in England
Public Health England’s report showed unvaccinated people were up to five times more likely to be hospitalised with Covid in August compared to those who had got both doses. The above graph shows the Covid hospitalisation rate among the unvaccinated (grey) compared to the vaccinated (black). The rate for Covid hospitalisation was worked out by dividing the total number of vaccinated and unvaccinated people who were admitted to hospital with the virus by the total number of people in each category in the population in England
Earlier this month the JCVI said it could not recommend Covid jabs for healthy 12 to 15-year-olds because the direct benefit to their health was only marginal. It also looked at the risk of health inflammation – known as myocarditis – in young people given the Pfizer vaccine, which was still very small but slightly more common after a second dose
Latest official figures show that within 28 days of testing positive for the virus, 0.5 girls aged 10 to 14 will die from the virus per 100,000. The figure for boys of the same age is 0.3 per 100,000.
Covid is more deadly as people get older, but the risk among 15 to 19-year-olds is still low at 1.1 per 100,000 for girls and 1.9 per 100,000 for boys.
Meanwhile, mean aged 50 to 54 face a 72.8 per 100,000 risk of dying once becoming infected, while the figure for women is 43.8.
The risk rises dramatically among the oldest groups, with 4,092 women aged over 90 who catch the virus dying per 100,000, while the figure is 6,035 for men.
Earlier this month, the JCVI said just two healthy children per million would be admitted to hospital for Covid, while those with underlying conditions were more at risk – at 100 per million.
Meanwhile, three to 17 children per million were estimated to develop rare vaccine side effect myocarditis after receiving a single dose of Pfizer. The figure rose to 12 to 34 per million after the second dose.
Latest official figures show that within 28 days of testing positive for the virus, 0.5 girls aged 10 to 14 will die from the virus per 100,000. The figure for boys of the same age is 0.3 per 100,000
The graph shows the relative impact on different age groups and appears negative among those aged under 15 because so few deaths have been recorded in the group
One in SIX children have a mental health problem and two-thirds say their lives were worse in lockdown
One in six children now have a mental health problem and rates of eating disorders have nearly doubled in young people since 2017, a major NHS study has warned.
It found the Covid pandemic may have exacerbated the mental health crisis in young people, with two-thirds of children saying their lives were worse in lockdown.
The report estimated 17.4 per cent of children aged six to 16 had a ‘probable’ mental disorder now, compared to 11.6 per cent, or one in nine, in 2017.
In older teens, the prevalence of mental health issues is believed to have risen from one in 10 to one in six, according to the survey of more than 3,600 youngsters.
Two-thirds of under-16s claimed lockdowns had made their lives worse, with social isolation and school closures to blame.
Meanwhile, the proportion of youngsters with eating problems has almost doubled since 2017 to 13 per cent.
Nearly one in six older teens were suspected of having an eating disorder, which could include anorexia and bulimia in extreme cases.
Professor Dame Til Wykes, a clinical psychologist at King’s College London, said the rises ‘may have been accelerated by the pandemic’.
She told MailOnline: ‘But it seems part of a longer term progression and recognition of mental health difficulties in the young.’
Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show 23 children aged 14 and under who died this year had the virus listed on their death certificate.
This doesn’t mean the virus was the underlying cause in all cases, but catching the virus may have contributed to their death.
The number of children aged five to 14 who will die from the virus is 14 per million, according to estimates from the chief medical officers, which is lower than the risk posed from seasonal flu infections.
And the proportion of children who develop Covid symptoms and require hospital care is 0.1 per cent for under-nines and 0.3 per cent for 10 to 19-year-olds.
Professor Paul Hunter, an expert in medicine at the University of East Anglia, told MailOnline: ‘JCVI believes that the health benefits of immunizing 12 to 16 year olds is marginal and I think they are right.
‘Because younger age groups are even less likely to suffer severe consequences from Covid and possibly be more at risk of myocarditis.
‘I do not think JCVI would support immunising children under 11 and I think they would be right.’
But he warned it is difficult to interpret official death data, because it includes fatalities where Covid was a ‘coincidental finding’ as well as people who died from the virus.
This is ‘less of an issue’ among older groups because the proportion of all deaths that were due to Covid was high, but could be more inaccurate among children because there was so few deaths.
He added: ‘Of course death is not the only adverse outcome of Covid, so should not be all the reason why we decide whether or not to vaccinate any particular age group.
‘But all the evidence points to younger age groups having less severe non-fatal disease anyway.’
Professor Helen Bedford, an expert in children’s health at University College London Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health: ‘It is reassuring that the latest figures from the Department of Health confirm children and young people to be at very low risk of dying from Covid.
‘The recent decision to offer Covid vaccine to young people over the age of 12 years is based on its wider benefits such as reducing disruption to schooling.
‘A recent UK study showing that most over 12-year-olds were willing to accept the vaccine suggests the programme will be successful.’
Professor David Livermore, a microbiologist at the University of East Anglia, told MailOnline: ‘Vaccination of the elderly and vulnerable is clearly of benefit. Given that vaccine efficacy fades over time, boosters are likely to be warranted for these folks.
‘The figures don’t however justify vaccinating healthy children, whose death rate from Covid is tiny, at around 0.1 to 1.9 per 100,000.
‘What is more, most of the few children who have died had underlying health issues. There is general agreement, and a recommendation from the JCVI, that this minority of unwell children should be vaccinated.’
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