On the basis of which data
will we vaccinate children?

di corriere canadese del November 9, 2021

TORONTO - The World Health Organization (WHO) must conduct a world-wide epidemiology study to analyze from each nation’s hospital data how many Covid-19 patients were hospitalized. From that data, it should indicate how many patients were admitted to ICU and or placed on Ventilator support.
In addition to these data, the WHO should also request an analysis of co-morbid conditions (high blood pressure, chronic bronchitis, diabetes etc.) in those patients with COVID-19 who were admitted to an ICU and or placed on a Ventilator. The analysis would help us identify the risk factors, regardless of age, which may result in a deadly outcome.

To continue to report only on those patients who tested positive for COVID-19 is virtually meaningless data if these same patients are not sick enough to be hospitalized. Understanding the data from a risk factor perspective will provide a more targeted approach to a Vaccination program. This targeted approach is particularly important if we are going to vaccinate all children below the age of 12 years.

The data below, reported to-date by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), suggests support for the validity for this approach. From 1,249,975 patients whose data was analyzed, 89,567 were hospitalized. Of these, 17,265 (19.3%) ended up in Intensive Care Units (ICU); 2.3% of those hospitalized (2,082) needed a ventilator.

Hospitalizations and deaths to date according to (PHAC): we have detailed case report data on 1,718,937 cases, and hospitalization status for 1,249,975 (72.7%) of them: the discrepancy is unclear. 89,567 cases (7.2%) were hospitalized, of whom: 17,256 (19.3%) were admitted to the ICU, 2,082 (2.3%) needed mechanical ventilation (see the graph below). Ref: https://health-infobase.canada.ca/covid-19/epidemiological-summary-covid-19-cases.html#a1

What should be of concern is another set of data reported this weekend. It shows that the number of patients who tested positive for COVID 19 was virtually the same in the vaccinated as among the unvaccinated group.

We need to be looking at this data not only from the perspective of who tests positive, but also from the perspective of the number of those patients admitted to ICU and or placed on a Ventilator and the existence of any co-morbid conditions.

Data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) suggest that among children and adolescents (0-17 yrs.), the rate of hospitalizations was 5 to 10 times greater among those who were not vaccinated, but this data does not separate out those below the age of 12 yrs.

In the weeks to follow we will hear much more about the plans to vaccinate all children below the age of 12 years. Yet PHAC in Canada reports that, to-date, 2.1% of the population younger than 19 years of age had been hospitalized because of a Covid infection. Its data does not report separately on those below 12 years of age. What segment of that 2.1% comes from this group of 0-12?

If PHAC does not have the data (unlikely), it should develop it – quickly. If PHAC does have the data (likely), making it publicly available may contribute to its aspiration to gain support for a 100% vaccination policy that includes under 12 years of age.

An analysis of risk factors will go a long way to helping us understand those most at risk, regardless of age. Since it appears that PHAC has this data, then it should inform parents before asking for their support in any vaccination strategy.

Carmella Pitoscia-Angus
BScN., MSc., MBA

(graphics by Priscilla Pajdo, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)

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