Children in the United States have a higher chance of being hospitalized with COVID-19 that children in England.
According to DailyMail.com analysis, the rate of American children being admitted to hospitals with the virus is up to four times that of English children under 18 years old.
This is despite the UK experiencing yet another wave infection and having one of highest seven-day incidence rates for Covid in the entire world.
DailyMail.com is told by experts that there are no masks or vaccination rates to explain the disparity. In fact, face coverings in schools in England are not required while the U.S. has a higher rate of vaccinations for children.
They point out that more testing has been done in the UK than in the U.S. and that there are higher rates for chronic conditions like obesity. This increases the risk of being hospitalized due to Covid-related complications.
Between September 30th and October 6th, between 0.07 and 0.19 children per 100k in England were admitted to hospitals using Covid. The virus was responsible for hospitalizations of between 0.29 and 0.33 million children in the U.S. during the same period. This figure could be up to four times greater
Doctors believe frequent testing by English schoolchildren could be one reason for England’s lower pediatric hospitalization rate. All secondary school students in England are tested at home twice per week (left). This is a difference from the U.S. (right). This likely leads to more cases, which may prevent hospitalization.
DailyMail.com analysed data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Health Services (NHS England) for the analysis.
Between September 30th, and October 6th (the latest dates for which complete information is available), 0.07 children per 100,000 to 0.19 each 100,000 were admitted to hospitals with COVID-19.
Comparatively to the previous time period, between 0.29 – 0.33 per 100,000 U.S. children were hospitalized because of the virus.
The largest disparity was observed on October 6, with 4.14 times more American children per 100,000 hospitalized than English kids.
So what is the reason for this gap?
DailyMail.com’s Dr Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious diseases specialist who treats adults at University of California, San Francisco, stated that there are some things to consider.
“The UK does not have mask mandates [for kids]There are no vaccines available for adolescents in the U.S., and they have not been as widely available.
In September, millions of children in England returned from school without wearing face covers.
The CDC recommends that everyone over two years of age wear masks indoors in the United States, regardless if they have been vaccinated.
Some states have adopted CDC recommendations, while others, such Florida and Texas, have banned mask mandates in schools.
While masks are politically divisive in the U.S., members from both the Conservative Party and Labour Parties in UK have stated masks do not allow children to communicate or socialize.
COVID-19 vaccines can’t explain the difference, as more children in the U.S. are vaccinated. 58.5% of 12-to-15 year-olds have at least one dose, and 63.7% are fully vaccinated. 47.6%, 54.9%, and 56.9%, respectively, are fully immunized
In the UK, 20% of 12-to-15 year-olds and 55% (16-to-17-year olds) have received at least one dose. 1% and 10% are fully vaccinated, respectively.
Hospitalization rates in the U.S. are not higher because of vaccines.
According to the CDC 58.5 percent of 12-to-15 year-olds and 63.7% of 16-to-17 year-olds have received at minimum one dose, and 47.6 and 54.9 percent are respectively fully vaccinated.
Children between the ages of five and eleven years old were authorized to receive vaccines Tuesday, so their impact on vaccination rates won’t be known for several weeks.
In the UK, vaccines are currently only approved for people over 12 years old.
According to the UK Health Security Agency, which has replaced Public Health England, less than 20% have received at most one dose and less than one percent are fully vaccinated among 12- to 15-year-olds.
About 55 percent of 16- to 17-year-olds have had at least one dose, and 10 percent have been fully vaccinated.
DailyMail.com’s Dr James Versalovic, COVID-19 Command Commander and Pathologist-in Chief at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, stated that the vaccines can’t also be considered a factor, as they are completely different.
He said that Pfizer is the dominant U.S. ….company and the only approved vaccine for children…whereas AstraZeneca is the dominant company in the UK.
“They’re not just different manufacturers, they’re also different types and types of vaccines.
Pfizer’s vaccine uses messenger RNA, or mRNA, to teach human cells how to make a protein that will trigger an immune response (antibodies) inside our bodies.
AstraZeneca’s immunization, known as a viral vaccine, is being used to induce an immune response. It combines genetic material from the virus with genes from the adenovirus, a cause of the common sore throat.
Experts say this means there are other factors driving up hospitalization rates in the U.S. including environmental differences.
They claim that testing is one of those factors, which is much more widespread in the UK then in the U.S.
Currently the UK’s Department of Education requires all secondary school students, between ages 11 and 18, be tested at home twice a week using rapid lateral flow tests.
The rapid test, which is based on proteins found on virus surfaces, looks for antigens and returns results within minutes.
Chin-Hong stated that the U.S. has not adopted the UK’s testing strategy.
“If you have a lot of children who are available to test, you can identify those with a high viral load who can transmit it more easily and keep them home.
He says that the lack of regular testing in American schools means that children are being sent to classes instead of being left at home. Tests aren’t detecting these cases.
This can lead to the children being hospitalized or infecting other children.
‘The reality is, if you’re testing so many kids that frequently – that we’re not doing in the U.S. – you’re expanding the denominator and detecting a number of kids including asymptomatic and mild cases,’ said Versalovic.
“This makes the hospitalization rates look smaller because their denominator’s larger.
More than half of children hospitalized by COVID-19 were afflicted with underlying conditions. The most common was obesity at 35%.
Chin-Hong stated, “Hospitalization does not equal infection.”
“Yes, more people get infected, the more they go the hospital. But people go to the hospital when there are comorbid conditions.
“Kids who don’t have well-controlled diseases are going to be hospitalized.”
For example, according to the NHS, 9.9 percent of four-to-five-year-olds are obese in England.
Comparatively, 13.4 percent among two-to-five-year-olds in the U.S. are obese. CDC data find.
Among pre-teens, the gap is much closer with 21 percent obese in the UK compared to 21.9 percent in the U.S.
‘I think there’s no doubt that chronic health conditions are playing a role,’ Dr William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told DailyMail.com.
‘There were comments [at the CDC advisory committee meeting]That so many children are in hospital [with Covid]Today’s youth are…chubby.
COVID-19 has not claimed the lives of many children in England or the U.S. but 1.07 million Americans have died since the pandemic started. This compares to 0.69 per 100,000 in England.
According to the CDC, more that one-third – or 35 percent – of all U.S. kids who have been hospitalized in the wake of the pandemic were obese.
Schaffner stated, “It won’t influence the spread virus but should a chubby kid get infected there is a higher likelihood they will become more severely ill and be hospitalized.”
This increases the chance of your death.
American children have been dying at a faster rate than English since the pandemic.
According to DailyMail.com, 1.07 million children died in the United States since March 2020, compared with 0.69 million in England.
Experts urge parents to vaccinate their children. They stress the importance of getting vaccines for adults and driving down COVID-19 transmission. This will reduce the number of pediatric hospitalizations.
Schaffner said that ‘any adult in the community must get vaccinated’. He also suggested that we continue to use social distancing and masks wherever children congregate.
Chin-Hong added: ‘You have to control the amount of virus in the community.
“If you have transmission measures that bring down transmission, it affects children who live in the same community.”