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Editor’s note: Here’s an excerpt from an article in The BMJ. To read the piece in its entirety, click here.

As the majority of adults in multiple rich western countries have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the focus is turning to children. 

While there is wide recognition that children’s risk of severe COVID-19 is low, many believe that mass vaccination of children may not just protect children from severe COVID-19, but also prevent onward transmission, indirectly protecting vulnerable adults and helping end the pandemic. 

However, there are multiple assumptions that need to be examined when judging calls to vaccinate children against COVID-19.

First, the disease in children is commonly mild, and serious sequelae remain rare. Despite “long COVID” recently garnering increased attention, two large studies in children show that prolonged symptoms are uncommon and overall similar or milder in children testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 compared to those with symptoms from other respiratory viruses. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates put the infection fatality rate from COVID-19 among children 0 to 17 years old at 20 per 1,000,000

Read the entire The BMJ article here.