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Most children 'have already had Covid' as number of infected school kids falls

Views: 1     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2021-10-28      Origin: Site

Experts have called on the government to prioritise the elderly for booster jabs as winter approaches with children far better protected after a surge in cases on returning to school.

Most children in England have already had Covid with the number of infected school kids now falling, experts have said.

The spread of Covid among school children - which has led to infection rates reach levels not seen since March - is believed to be the driving force behind the soaring case numbers across the country this month.

But scientists think those youths most susceptible have now already been infected and cases will continue to tail off ahead of the winter months.

It is estimated three-quarters of children aged between 5 and 14 have already been infected with the virus, according to real-time data from the MRC Biostatistics Unit (BSU), at the University of Cambridge.

And nearly 50% of school-age kids under 15 caught it between early September and October 20 - taking the total infected to 76%.

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Figures suggest cases in children have already peaked.

The Government's Covid dashboard is now seeing positive tests beginning to dip again, mirroring the predictions by London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Experts there had forecast the surge which come to an end by the start of November.

BSU figures show around 55% of 1 to 4-year-olds have had the virus, compared to 71% of those aged 15 to 24.

According to separate analysis by The Telegraph, cases have peaked for those under 20, with those aged between 10 and 14 seeing the biggest decrease of almost 3%.

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Paul Hunter, professor in medicine at The Norwich School of Medicine, University of East Anglia

Epidemiologist Meaghan Kill, of the UK Health Security Agency, wrote on Twitter : "I am prepared to bet that England has seen the peak of cases in children."

As a result, experts have called on Downing Street to prioritise older people for the booster jabs over the young.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Wednesday show only 86% of 70 to 79 year olds still have antibodies, with similar falls in other older age groups.

While 92% of those aged 16 to 24 are still protected, even though a smaller number have been double vaccinated.

Professor Paul Hunter, professor in medicine at The Norwich School of Medicine, University of East Anglia, told the Telegraph: “In terms of vaccine policy, these observations would argue that more priority be given to boosting older and more vulnerable individuals than on improving take up in the 16 to 24 age group.

“However, the greatest priority remains persuading those older and more vulnerable individuals who have so far not come forward for their primary course to do so.”


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