Research shows that asthmatic children are six times more likely be admitted to hospital than those with good health.
Study of 750,000 children from Scotland revealed that 548 out 100,000 asthmatics were admitted to hospital, while only 55 percent of those without the disease.
The researchers found they were six times as likely to be admitted after correcting the numbers to account for Covid risk factors.
University of Edinburgh researchers suggested the expansion of the jabs to include more than 100,000 children over five with asthma.
Current vaccine approvals do not apply to children under 12 years old, even for those with severe asthma.
They were asked by researchers to evaluate the risks for asthmatics posed by No10’s vaccine advisors. These results suggest that the move will be accepted.
But they noted their study, published in journal The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, shows the overall risk from the coronavirus for children with severe asthma was low, with one in 380 included in the study being hospitalised.
Asthma affects approximately 1.1 million children in Britain and 6.8million across the USA.
Respiratory viruses such as Covid can trigger or worsen the condition.
The University of Edinburgh studied Covid data from 750,000 Scottish children aged five-17 during the initial 15 months of this pandemic. After contracting the virus, people suffering from severe asthma were six-fold more likely to end up in hospital. They found 548 Covid hospitalisations occurred per 100,000 children with poorly controlled asthma — classed as those who have been hospitalised with their lung problem in the last two years. This compares to 55 Covid hospitalisations for 100,000 children who don’t have asthma and 94 admissions for 100,000 children with asthma. The risk that a child was admitted to hospital with Covid increased if the child had previously taken asthma steroids (94 for 100,000) and twice within the past 24 months (231 for 100,000). They were three times more likely to be admitted than children without asthma
To examine Covid hospitalisations of five- to seventeen-year-olds across Scotland, the researchers used a national data base. The study was conducted between March 2020 and July 2021.
It was done in response to a request by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, (JCVI), to study the risks of Covid hospitalizations among uncontrolled children with asthma.
What is ASTHMA?
Asthma, a condition of the lungs that can cause occasional difficulties with breathing, is common.
People of all ages are affected by it. It often begins in childhood but can develop later in life.
Although there is currently no cure for this condition, you can take steps to keep it under control and not make a huge impact on your daily life.
The main signs are coughing, wheezing and breathlessness.
Asthma can be caused by the swelling of the tubes that transport air into and out of your lungs.
The tubes are therefore extremely sensitive and temporarily shrink.
You can get it from allergies, smoking, pollutants, cold air and exercise.
A common treatment for asthma is an inhaler.
Although it is usually manageable, if symptoms are not treated and ignored properly, there can be serious consequences.
- Feeling exhausted all the time
- Failure to perform or absence from school/work
- Depression, stress or anxiety
- Unplanned visits to the GP/hospital can disrupt your work and personal life.
- Lung diseases, including pneumonia
- Children who are not growing or reaching puberty at the right time
- Asthma attacks that are severe can cause serious complications and even death.
Close to 10% of all Covid cases reported in the UK were recorded by school-aged children.
According to the researchers, there is uncertainty about vaccine safety and effectiveness for children. There are also concerns over limited supply.
These experts stated that the prevention of school absenteeism and the spreading of the virus could be reduced by vaccinating the at-risk group.
Total 752,867 children participated in the analysis. 63,463 (or 8.4%) of them had asthma.
6,8 percent) of asthma sufferers tested positive in the fifteen-month span.
And in asthmatic children, 67 of these cases led to hospitalization (1.5%).
40.231 children with asthma were found to be positive for Covid (5.7%).
And, 0.9 percent of non-asthmatic kids were admitted to hospital (382).
According to the researchers, nine asthmatic children died or were placed in intensive care after contracting the virus.
The figures equate to 548 Covid hospitalisations per 100,000 children with poorly controlled asthma — classed as those who have been hospitalised with their lung problem in the last two years.
This compares to only 55 Covid hospitalisations for 100,000 children who don’t have asthma and 94 admissions for 100,000 children who do have well-controlled asthma.
If children had used steroids to treat asthma in the past two years, or in the 24 previous months (94 for 100,000), they were at greater risk of becoming hospitalized with Covid. They were three times more likely to be admitted than children with asthma.
Researchers said that their results indicated that more than 9000 children aged five-17 years old with asthma who were not controlled in Scotland could have benefited from a Covid vaccination.
They estimated that as many as 109 488 children in the UK might have benefited.
Children aged 12-17 years can receive two doses of Covid vaccinations. However, younger children aren’t eligible for the vaccines.
Over fears of myocarditis, a side effect that causes inflammation in the heart and can lead to severe bleeding problems for those under 18, a single dose was initially given.
The JCVI has data that shows one in five6,000 (12-15-year-olds) will contract myocarditis from their first Covid vaccination.
Aziz Sheikh, director of the University of Edinburgh’s Usher Institute and lead author, said: ‘Understanding which children with asthma are at increased risk of serious Covid outcomes is critical to ongoing policy deliberations on vaccine prioritisation.
“Our analysis gives us the first evidence at the national level of Covid hospitalisations in school-aged children who have poorly controlled asthma.
He stated that the key message of this study was to keep children’s asthma under control as it greatly decreases the likelihood of Covid hospitalization.
The important step of vaccinating people suffering from poorly controlled asthma is an extra layer of protection that can prevent serious Covid events.
Expert in public health sciences at the university Dr Ting Shi said that although Covid affects children less than it does adults, these findings highlight the need to closely monitor children who are infected. He also suggested that parents ensure their children regularly take their asthma medication, have regular asthma checks, and keep them on the right track with their asthma treatment.
“More research is required to examine the underlying mechanisms that predispose kids to increased Covid hospitalisation risks.”