Routine immunisations may ease severe Covid in kids: MAMC study

Published on Feb 19, 2022 05:10 AM IST

The study, conducted by researchers from MAMC’s community medicine department over six months in 2021, showed that children under 15 who were fully immunised with routine vaccinations were seen to have less severe symptoms when infected with the Sars-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19.

The findings showed that of the 141 Covid-positive children who were part of the study, 88 (62.4%) had mild symptoms, 9 (6.4%) had moderate symptoms and three (2.1%) had severe symptoms.(Livemint | Representational image)
The findings showed that of the 141 Covid-positive children who were part of the study, 88 (62.4%) had mild symptoms, 9 (6.4%) had moderate symptoms and three (2.1%) had severe symptoms.(Livemint | Representational image)
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Children below the age of 15, who have received their routine childhood vaccinations, are less likely to get severe Covid-19 symptoms, a study by Delhi’s Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC) showed.

The study, conducted by researchers from MAMC’s community medicine department over six months in 2021, showed that children under 15 who were fully immunised with routine vaccinations — one dose of Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG), to prevent against tuberculosis; three doses of oral polio vaccine; three doses of rotavirus; three doses of penta (against diphtheria, tetanus; whooping cough; hepatitis-B and haemophilus influenza type-B; two doses of fractional injectable polio vaccine; and one dose of measles-rubella (MR) vaccine — were seen to have less severe symptoms when infected with the Sars-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19.

The findings showed that of the 141 Covid-positive children who were part of the study, 88 (62.4%) had mild symptoms, 9 (6.4%) had moderate symptoms and three (2.1%) had severe symptoms. The rest (41) were asymptomatic.

Of the 141 children, 114 were fully immunised, 24 were partially immunised and three had not received any vaccines.

“Symptomatic infection was more in the case of partially immunised children as compared to the fully immunised children (75% vs 69.7%). In partially immunised children, combined moderate and severe disease was more (16.7%) as compared to fully immunised children (7.0%),” said the study.

The study also highlighted that the chances of a severe Covid infection was particularly low among children who received the MR vaccine.

“...This might be due to the cross-reactivity of measles or rubella components of the vaccine with the Sars-CoV-2 virus and the development of neutralising antibodies towards the virus. MMR vaccine may provide strong protection from COVID19 spread and mortality,” the study added.

Dr Panna Lal, from the MAMC community medicine department and among the authors of the paper, said the study was carried out primarily to find if cross-immunity played any role for children who were yet to be covered under the country’s coronavirus immunisation programme. Covid-19 jabs are currently limited for those aged 15 or older.

“The study was primarily focused in the central district of Delhi and the primary takeaway was that children below the age of 15, who were yet to receive their Covid-19 vaccines but had received their routine vaccines as toddlers, still had lower chances of getting severe symptoms,” said Dr Lal.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Soumya Pillai covers environment and traffic in Delhi. A journalist for three years, she has grown up in and with Delhi, which is often reflected in the stories she does about life in the city. She also enjoys writing on social innovations.

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