Most young people face an “extremely low” risk of illness and death from Covid-19 and have no need to shield from the virus, according to researchers behind a large U.K. study.
The analysis, which its authors say is the most comprehensive on the topic to date, backs up clinical reports that show children and teens are less likely to be hospitalized or face severe effects from the virus. Covid-19 does increase the chance of serious illness in the most vulnerable children — those with complex disabilities and severe existing medical conditions — but even in those cases the risks are smaller compared with adults.
In England, the highest rates of infection in recent weeks were seen in those ages 15 to 29, with the fastest jump in positive cases week-on-week among children ages 5 to 14. With 68% of adults in the U.K. having received at least one shot and more than 50% fully vaccinated, the increase highlights the role children may be playing in transmission.
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