The most comprehensive and perhaps important COVID-19 study to date was released in the U.K on July 7th. Although largely ignored by the mainstream press, the study is of great importance because it actually quantifies the health risks of COVID among children and teenagers.
Impressively, researchers from prestigious U.K. medical institutions reviewed every COVID case involving children and young people (CYP) hospitalized in the U.K. in the first 12 months of the pandemic.
Among the Study’s Key Findings:
- Only 25 children aged 0 to 17 in the U.K. died of COVID in the pandemic’s first 12 months.
- Of these 25 deaths, 19 (76 percent) occurred among patients who had pre-existing “chronic co-morbidities” and/or “life-limiting” medical conditions. Only 24 percent of COVID deaths occurred among children with no “underlying health conditions.”
- This means only six “healthy” children and young people in this nation of 68 million people died of COVID.
- Among the 12.023 million children and young people in the U.K., the mortality rate was 0.002 percent. Expressed as a probability, COVID mortality in CYP was 1 out of 480,942.
- However, the vast majority of CYP in the UK (or any Western nation, including the U.S.A.) do NOT have “chronic co-morbidities” and/or suffer from “life-limiting” medical conditions.
- A footnote in the study defines life-limiting conditions as “diseases with no reasonable hope of a cure that will ultimately be fatal.” Approximately 3 in 1,000 young people have medical conditions characterized as “life-limiting.”
- “Our findings emphasize the importance of underlying co-morbidities as the main risk factor for death, as 76% had chronic conditions, 64% had multiple co-morbidities, and 60% had life-limiting conditions.”
- Among the 25 U.K. children who died of COVID, 15 had a “life-limiting neurological condition,” of which 13 “had complex neurodisability due to a combination of an underlying genetic or metabolic condition, hypoxic-ischaemic events or prematurity.”
According to the study, while many “chronic” medical conditions can affect children, most of these common conditions were not observed in the very small number of children who died of COVID. The authors noted: “It is important to note we observed no deaths in groups who have been considered at higher risk of respiratory infections, such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, type 1 diabetes or trisomy 21.” Except for six children, those who died from COVID-19 were “clinically extremely vulnerable.”
With the above information presented for context, it’s probably conservative in estimating that 2 percent of U.K. children (1 in 50) live with the extremely severe medical conditions described above. This would mean that 98 percent of young people do not. Assuming my assumptions are reasonable, one can calculate the national mortality rate among children who are not considered extremely vulnerable. This percentage is 0.0001 (6 deaths divided by an estimated 11.783 million “healthy” CYP). Expressed as a probability of death, this would be 1-in-1.964 million (approximately 1 in 2 million).
Per this and other studies, COVID mortality rates vary significantly according to a racial category. For example, among the population of young whites in the U.K., only 7 children and adolescents died of COVID. Approximately 86 percent of CYP in the U.K. are white. However, this cohort comprised just 28 percent of the 25 COVID deaths. Since 24 percent of those who died of COVID did not have a severe co-morbid condition(s), we can extrapolate that only 2 non-minority children (7 x 0.24) without a pre-existing chronic or “life-limiting” health condition passed away from COVID.
By extrapolating these 2 deaths to the estimated population of 10.133 million young whites who do not suffer from extreme medical conditions, we get this “stop-the-presses” headline: Covid mortality among young, “healthy” whites in the first year of the pandemic was approximately 1-in-5.066 million (0.0001 percent). This information qualifies as the best COVID news I’ve read to date. Basically, the odds one of my two young children will die from COVID are smaller than the odds I’d correctly pick the six winning numbers in the lottery. (Although higher, the odds a healthy minority child would die from COVID are also remote in the extreme).
While I knew these odds were microscopic, I didn’t know they were THIS microscopic. A mortality rate of 0.0001 is as close to 0.0000 as numerology can get. In fact, if these probabilities were expressed with three decimal points (instead of four), the mortality percentage would be 0.000. Indeed, as the vast majority of U.K. children happen to be white and do not suffer from chronic or life-limiting health conditions, the odds of dying from COVID for the vast majority of young people in this nation were 0.000 (through Feb. 28, 2021).
This study also confirms that children’s COVID mortality rate is significantly lower than the mortality rate from influenza.
For children in the U.K. under the age of 18, the study’s authors calculated the infection fatality rate (IFR) for COVID among children to be 0.005 percent (25 COVID deaths divided by an estimated 470,000 cumulative COVID “cases” among CYP as of Feb. 28). Perhaps easier to grasp, among children under 18 in the U.K., 1 in 20,000 infected by this virus later died from it. Among those under age 18, the estimated IFR for influenza is 1 in 10,000 (0.01 percent). Thus, for CYP, influenza is twice as deadly as COVID. (The IFR for COVID-19 would be even lower if the denominator—the “estimated” number of cases— were larger, which I suspect it was).
This study is important for another reason: The findings effectively reduced the estimated number of CYP in the UK who died “of” COVID by 59 percent—from 61 deaths to 25. The study notes that 61 hospitalized CYP in the U.K. died within two weeks of testing positive via a PCR test.
However, the study distinguishes between young people who died with the virus and those the researchers concluded most likely died “from” or because of the virus. The authors concluded that the primary contributor to death for more than half of the 61 fatal cases they examined was not COVID-19. And, as noted, only six of the 25 COVID deaths occurred among children without pre-existing serious medical conditions.
The thorough cause-of-death assessments performed in this analysis suggest it’s very likely the number of deaths attributed to COVID has also been over-reported in other age cohorts. Mortality and infection fatality rates from all age cohorts may also be significantly lower than currently reported.
The authors, albeit gently, made another contrarian point, noting “the risk of removal of CYP from their normal activities across education and social events may prove a greater risk than that of SARS-CoV-2 itself.”
If I had written this report, I would have dropped the qualifying words “may prove” and replaced them with “did prove.” That is, the multitude of “shielding” measures—no school, no social activities, no recreational activities, mandatory masking, enforced “social distancing”—DID, without question, cause great harm to the physical and mental health of those under the age of 18.
Certainly, per the findings of this study, COVID-19 did not cause great harm to the health of those in the examined age cohort. While the study focussed on children under the age of 18, one imagines the findings would have been similar if data had included medical information on the U.K.’s college-aged population of 18 to 22.
Implications for Vaccine Debate
Although study authors do not offer a firm and unambiguous opinion on the topic, it seems clear they do not support mandatory vaccines for an age cohort that their study proves has almost zero risks of dying from COVID. Harmful health effects possibly caused by vaccination in young people were not a subject of analysis; however, myriad concerns exist and have been documented in various domestic and international reports.
For example, several credible reports strongly suggest a correlation between vaccination and cases of myocarditis and pericarditis in the age cohort teenager to early 20s. This apparent “elevated risk” is particularly striking among young males. Indeed, it seems possible the incidence of myocarditis among fully-vaccinated young males might be as high as 1 in 3,000 (0.033 percent). Even if the incidence of myocarditis is much rarer than these early findings indicate, this risk would still be orders of magnitude greater than the 1-in-2-million (0.0001) risk of death that COVID poses to healthy young people.
When pundits, politicians, health officials, and commissioners of athletic leagues scold parents and young adults for not getting vaccinated, they invariably encourage those they are reprimanding to seek out relevant health information and to ignore “misinformation.” One assumes these official scolders have yet to review the medical “information” contained in this important study. Or, if they have, they probably dismissed the “most comprehensive research of its kind” done to date as “misinformation.”
Regardless, it’s odd that a study whose findings are fantastic news for parents worldwide made little international news. Perhaps one obvious inference of this study—if you happen to fall into a group that has a 1-in-2 million chance of dying from COVID, you don’t need a vaccine to “protect” yourself—is not deemed news “fit to print.”