True: The risk of children developing serious illness due to COVID-19 is extremely low.

By: Alice Franklin
September 17 2021

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True: The risk of children developing serious illness due to COVID-19 is extremely low.


The Verdict True

Children without pre-existing medical conditions are unlikely to develop serious illness from COVID-19. Vaccinating young people is still important.

Claim ID e05c682d

The Daily Expose, a medical misinformation platform, published an article on September 14 titled, "13 reasons why you should not allow your child to get the COVID-19 Vaccine." One of the reasons cited is that "the risk of children developing serious illness due to COVID-19 is extremely low." As Harvard Health has reported, "Children, including very young children, can develop COVID-19. Many of them have no symptoms. Those that do get sick tend to experience milder symptoms such as low-grade fever, fatigue, and cough." A study co-led by researchers at UCL, the University of Bristol, the University of York, and the University of Liverpool also found that "The risk of severe illness and death from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, is extremely low in children and teenagers," but adds that COVID-19 "increases the likelihood of serious illness in the most vulnerable young people, those with pre-existing medical conditions and severe disabilities, although these risks remain low overall." However, in a Nature article that concerns this particular study as well as two others, science reporter Heidi Ledford writes: "The studies did not evaluate rates of less-severe illness or debilitating ‘long COVID’ symptoms that can linger months after the acute phase of the infection has past." Speaking to Nature, the pediatrician Danilo Buonsenso at the Gemelli University Hospital in Rome says: "The low rate of severe acute disease is important news, but this does not have to mean that COVID does not matter to children. Please, let’s keep attention — as much as is feasible — on immunization.” The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.

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