Children make up less than 0.1% of all Covid deaths since the pandemic began in 2020, despite making up 20% of the population, the CDC reveals
- Data from the CDC show that children account for less than 0.1% of Covid deaths since the pandemic began in March 2020
- Children under the age of five make up only 259 of the 852,000 deaths the United States has recorded
- A study from October during the Delta Covid wave shows that half of infected children have an asymptomatic case
- WHO chief researcher Soumya Swaminathan said on Tuesday that healthy children are unlikely to need booster shots as they face a small risk due to the virus
Children dying of COVID-19 are extremely unlikely, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows.
The agency's data show that around 8.3 million children have received Covid, and 841 have died since the pandemic began in March 2020.
This means that children make up about 12 percent of cases and less than 0.1 percent of deaths in the United States. The Census estimates that 22 percent of Americans are under 18 years of age.
Children under the age of five are particularly unlikely to die, with 259 deaths reported among the population, making up six percent of Americans.
It has long been known that children do not suffer as badly from Covid as adults. Previous studies have shown that about half of the cases among children are asymptomatic.
Despite this, Covid vaccines in the United States have been approved for children as young as five years old, and in cities like New York, young children are still subject to mask mandates.
Data from the CDC show that children account for less than 0.1% of COVID-19 deaths in the United States since the pandemic began in March 2020. Image: A young girl in Boston, Massachusetts, being tested for Covid on January 13
The CDC reports age mortality data on a weekly basis for the previous week. Last week's data included 834,949 total deaths since the pandemic began nearly two years ago.
The data highlight the mild risk that the youngest children face from Covid.
A study published by researchers from the University of Utah in October showed that 50 percent of children who receive Covid have an asymptomatic case.
The study was also conducted during the Delta variant wave before Omicron stormed the world and took over as the dominant tribe of the United States.
A study published in October showed that half of children who received COVID-19 did not experience symptoms of the virus compared to only 12% of adults. The study was conducted before the milder Omicron variant became the dominant strain in the United States
Omicron is much milder than Delta and other previous strains of the virus, making it likely that the risk to children has only decreased.
A CDC study published last week showed that people of all ages are half as likely to require hospitalization as a result of Omicron infection and 91 percent less likely to die.
The small risk children are exposed to has made some worried about vaccinations, as the small risk a child faces developing myocarditis may not be worth the shot.
World Health Organization (WHO) chief researcher Soumya Swaminathan said she did not see it as necessary for health children to receive Covid boosters.
"The goal is to protect the most vulnerable, to protect those at greatest risk of serious illness and death, that is our elderly population, immunocompromised with underlying conditions and also health professionals," she said during a briefing Tuesday.
Swaminathan leads WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization. The agency has long been critical of the prevalence of Covid booster shots, believing that the risk of infection for a fully vaccinated person is already low enough - and that the nation should instead donate doses abroad.
Many American parents also disagree on whether they plan to vaccinate their children.
Children between the ages of five and 11 are by far the least vaccinated group in the United States, only 28 percent have received their first dose of the vaccine, and 19 percent are fully vaccinated according to CDC data.
By comparison, nearly all Americans over the age of 65 have received at least one shot, and at least 74 percent of every adult age group has received the dot.