Queen’s University leading UK trial to measure Covid-19 infection rates in children

  • Reserarchers at Queen's University Belfast are leading a new trial designed to estimate the rates of Covid-19 antibodies among children in the UK.

    Most studies on Covid-19 infection rates have been focused on the adult population as it's known that the chances of serious complications rise with age. While there have been many cases of confirmed infection in young people, most develop only mild symptoms and then recover.

    Queen's University Belfast is now leading a country-wide trial aimed at determining the infection rates in healthy children. A collection of 1,000 children from Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales are to have their Covid-19 antibody levels measured three times throughout a period of 6 months.

    The goal of the study is to identify healthy children who have recovered from Covid-19 and developed antibodies against it, and to track that immunity level over time. It will help establish what percentage of otherwise healthy children may have been exposed to the virus and now be immune, information that could play a key part in the decision to re-open schools or children's medical services.

    QUB researcher Dr Tom Waterfield commented on the trial: "It is unclear what proportion of UK children have been exposed to COVID-19 and how many, if any, have the necessary antibodies to prevent future re-infection. This important research may help with planning for the reopening of schools and other vital children’s services."

    Source: Written based on press release

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