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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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1 - 15 of 122
Unintended trauma: the role of public health policy in the detention of migrant children

AUTHOR(S)
Michele Statz; Lauren Heidbrink

Published: July 2021   Journal: The Lancet Regional Health - Americas
Within the first three months of 2021, an unprecedented 33,000 unaccompanied children arrived at the United States-Mexico border. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) responded by opening new facilities for detained migrant children in converted convention centers, stadiums, and military bases. Ranging from 1000 to 5000 beds, these facilities are not unique to the U.S.: Europe and Australia have adopted similar models of detaining arriving migrants and refugees.1 Responding to these trends, global public health scholars have identified how large post-reception models negatively impact migrants’ mental and physical health and further contribute to increased vulnerability to COVID-19.2 Considerably less attention has been paid to how pandemic-related public health policies have actually fueled the recent demand for mass detention facilities.
Children and SARS-CoV-2

AUTHOR(S)
Dusan Bogunovic; Miriam Merad

Published: July 2021   Journal: Cell Host & Microbe
A previously immune-naive world population is experiencing natural infection with SARS-CoV-2. Severe COVID-19 predominantly impacts adults, yet multisystem inflammatory disorder primarily impacts children. Herein, this article discusses known clinical and biological features of SARS-CoV-2 in children and reflects on currently identified immune features and discusses what remains unknown.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 29 | Issue: 7 | No. of pages: 1040-1042 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: child health, COVID-19, disease transmission, infectious disease, medical research, respiratory diseases
Ongoing asthma management in children during the COVID-19 pandemic: to step down or not to step down?

AUTHOR(S)
Elissa Michele Abrams; Stanley Szefler

Published: July 2021   Journal: The Lancet Respiratory Medicine
A substantial reduction in asthma exacerbations in both children and adults has been seen in many countries worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic. The cause of this reduction is likely to be multifactorial, but at least partly due to population-level public health measures, such as physical distancing, masking, and hand washing, which reduce broad viral transmission. This improvement in asthma control poses an interesting clinical dilemma: should clinicians consider tapering asthma medications in children during the pandemic in the face of good asthma control? Furthermore, if medicines are reduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, should clinicians return to the pre-COVID-19 schedule as respiratory precautions are gradually relaxed?
COVID-19: the turning point for gender equality

AUTHOR(S)
Senait Fisseha; Gita Sen; Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus; Henrietta H. Fore (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: The Lancet
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have gone far beyond the disease itself. In addition to the increasing number of COVID-19 deaths, the pandemic has deepened social and economic inequalities. These indirect impacts have been compounded by pervasive gender inequalities, with profound consequences, especially for women, girls, and people of diverse gender identities. There has been an escalation in gender-based violence within households, increasing numbers of child marriages and female genital mutilation, and an increased burden of unpaid care work, with impacts on mental health. Communities of people affected by HIV are, again, at the crossroads of injustice and targeted discrimination. Measures to control the pandemic have reduced access to essential health and social welfare services, including sexual and reproductive health services, reduced employment and labour force participation, and decimated many household incomes. Here again, women have borne the brunt of marginalisation, particularly those working in the informal sector. Intersectionality analyses have highlighted the inextricable effects of poverty, racial discrimination, harmful gender norms, and limited agency and opportunities for women, especially already marginalised women, even when they represent most of the front-line health workers. The diversion of funds from other health and development programmes into economic recovery means that the pandemic is further eroding health gains made over decades, stalling progress on tackling gender inequalities.
Early marriage and teenage pregnancy: the unspoken consequences of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria

AUTHOR(S)
Shuaibu Saidu Musa; Goodness Ogeyi Odey; Muhammad Kabir Musa (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Public Health in Practice
Early marriage and its sad consequences to the girl child and socio-economic development of the nation has been an age-long issue being advocated against in many parts of Nigeria. At the onset of COVID-19, the teeming efforts to curb this issue almost got jeopardized with harsh economic situations in many households due to the lockdown and the willingness to marry off their girls to reduce this burden. Closure of schools and cases of sexual gender based violence also impacted the prevalence of early marriage during the pandemic in Nigeria.
COVID-19 vaccines for children younger than 12 years: are we ready?

AUTHOR(S)
Xiaohui Zou; Bin Cao

Published: June 2021
On May 5, 2021, Canada became the first country in the world to approve COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in children aged 12–15 years; later the same month, the US Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency also gave the green light to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents. Children younger than 12 years are the next population who need a safe and efficient COVID-19 vaccine. In The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Bihua Han and colleagues reported the results of a double-blind, randomised, controlled, phase 1/2 clinical trial, which showed that the inactivated COVID-19 vaccine (CoronaVac) had good safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity in youths aged 3–17 years. This promising result should inspire the ongoing trial of other COVID-19 vaccines in children younger than 12 years.
Breast feeding in pandemic situation: how does Sri Lanka face the challenge?

AUTHOR(S)
Neerodha Dharmasoma

Published: June 2021   Journal: Current Developments in Nutrition
Sri Lanka has been awarded the first-ever ‘Green’ breastfeeding (BF) nation status by the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi) in January 2020 with the support of public health system. But, deviating attention of health services towards emergency pandemic situation has resulted in strained health systems and interruptions in humanitarian response leading to eroding access to essential and often life-saving nutrition services. Therefore, optimal breast feeding practices are at risk due to infected mothers’ isolation practices, exhausted public health system and misbeliefs among the community. This finds out how Sri Lanka plans to maintain high standards of breast feeding in pandemic situation.
Parents’ intention to get vaccinated and to have their child vaccinated against COVID-19: cross-sectional analyses using data from the KUNO-Kids health study

AUTHOR(S)
Susanne Brandstetter; Merle M. Böhmer; Maja Pawellek (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: European Journal of Pediatrics
A COVID-19 vaccine can be an important key for mitigating the spread of the pandemic, provided that it is accepted by a sufficient proportion of the population. This study investigated parents’ intention to get vaccinated and to have one’s child vaccinated against COVID-19. In May 2020, 612 parents participating with their child in the KUNO-Kids health study completed an online survey.
Could COVID-19 reverse the modest gains made in newborn health in Ethiopia?

AUTHOR(S)
Abiy Seifu Estifanos; Kescha Kazmi; Shaun K. Morris

Published: May 2021   Journal: Maternal and Child Health Journal

Ethiopia has made remarkable progress in reducing childhood and neonatal mortality in the last two decades. However, with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ethiopia, disruptions in routine health care pose a significant risk in reversing the gains made in neonatal mortality reduction. Using the World Health Organization’s health systems building blocks framework we examined the mechanisms by which the pandemic may impact neonatal health.

Vaccinating children against SARS-CoV-2

AUTHOR(S)
Jennie S. Lavine; Ottar Bjornstad; Rustom Antia

Published: May 2021   Journal: BMJ
Following widespread vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 of older adults and other highly vulnerable groups, some high income countries are now considering vaccinating children; just days ago, the US Food and Drug Administration authorized the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in children 12-15 years of age. Young people have been largely spared from severe covid-19 so far, and the value of childhood vaccination against respiratory viruses in general remains an open question for three reasons: the limited benefits of protection in age groups that experience only mild disease; the limited effects on transmission because of the range of antigenic types and waning vaccine induced immunity; and the possibility of unintended consequences related to differences in vaccine induced and infection induced immunity. Each issue is discussed in turn.
What happened to the prevention of child maltreatment during COVID-19? A yearlong into the pandemic reflection

AUTHOR(S)
Carmit Katz

Published: April 2021   Journal: International Journal on Child Maltreatment: Research, Policy and Practice

In March 2020, when COVID-19 was acknowledged as a worldwide pandemic, many countries dedicated their efforts to mitigate the virus and its negative health outcomes. One of the most frequent solutions was forced lockdowns, which was found to be beneficial in decreasing the spread of the virus. Today, after a year of international efforts to diminish the virus, we are at a stage where we can see the impact of these measures on children during COVID-19. Specifically, we now need to reflect on what happened to the prevention of child maltreatment (CM) during this time.There is an accumulation of knowledge with respect to the dramatic decrease of CM reports to formal systems worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, researchers have been stressing that this decrease should not be attributed to an increase in the safety of children but rather due to the adverse impact of the lockdown on the system’s ability to see and protect children (e.g., Baron et al., 2020; Katz & Cohen, 2020). In addition, there is growing evidence that during COVID-19, various CM risk factors significantly increased (Conrad-Hiebner & Byram, 2020; Proulx et al., 2021; Rodriguez et al., 2020; Wu & Xu, 2020), such as parental job loss (Lawson et al., 2020), parental social isolation (Lee et al., 2021), and mental health issues (Russell et al., 2020). Adding to this, parental stress was found to be a major CM risk factor that increased during COVID-19 and an increase in self-reported child abuse was found for parents experiencing heightened stressors (Lawson et al., 2020).

COVID-19 herd immunity by immunisation: are children in the herd?

AUTHOR(S)
Stephen Obaro

Published: April 2021   Journal: The Lancet Infectious Diseases
The scourge of COVID-19 has been global, but the most affected subgroups in the population have largely been older people and individuals with comorbid conditions that predispose them to increasingly severe disease and poor outcomes. Overall, the disease burden in children has been reasonably mild, even in those with comorbidities, such as oncological conditions. Protection from severe disease in children might be related to a lower expression of host factors required for viral replication, and to differences in the magnitude and timing of innate or adaptive immune responses. Data for recorded COVID-19 cases show that only 7% of children younger than 18 years with severe disease required intensive care, whereas 53% of adults who had severe disease required intensive care.
Alleviating psychological distress and promoting mental wellbeing among adolescents living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, during and after COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Moses Okumua; Thabani Nyoni; William Byansi

Published: April 2021   Journal: Global Public Health
COVID-19 social control measures (e.g. physical distancing and lockdowns) can have both immediate (social isolation, loneliness, anxiety, stress) and long-term effects (depression, post-traumatic stress disorder) on individuals’ mental health. This may be particularly true of adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV) and their caregivers – populations already overburdened by intersecting stressors (e.g. psychosocial, biomedical, familial, economic, social, or environmental). Addressing the adverse mental health sequelae of COVID-19 among ALHIV requires a multi-dimensional approach that at once (a) economically empowers ALHIV and their households and (b) trains, mentors, and supervises community members as lay mental health services providers. Mental health literacy programming can also be implemented to increase mental health knowledge, reduce stigma, and improve service use among ALHIV. Schools and HIV care clinics offer ideal environments for increasing mental health literacy and improving access to mental health services.
COVID-19 vaccination of adolescents and young adults of color: viewing acceptance and uptake with a health equity lens

AUTHOR(S)
Tamera Coyne-Beasley; Samantha V. Hill; Gregory Zimet (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Journal of Adolescent Health
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged health-care systems across the world and magnified health inequalities related to systemic racism and globalization. As of February 2021, there have been over 100 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and over two million deaths reported to the World Health Organization. Within the United States (U.S.), Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other People of Color (BILPOC) are diagnosed, hospitalized, and die at 1.5, 3.3, and 2.8 times the rates of Whites, respectively. BILPOC are also more likely to have defined medical conditions associated with higher risk of severe COVID-19 infections. The disproportionate morbidity and mortality seen among BILPOC adults also impacts BILPOC adolescents and young adults (AYAs). Compared with Whites, BILPOC AYAs are 1) more likely to be essential workers and unable to work from home; 2) less likely to be able to take sick or medical leave, jeopardizing their jobs and families' livelihoods, 3) more likely to reside in intergenerational households with greater crowding; 4) more likely to experience the grief and psychological stress from the death of a loved one due to COVID-19, and 5) more likely to live in households with increased incidence of COVID-19 comorbidities. These and other effects of structural racism can undermine AYA success in remaining free from COVID-19, including limiting vaccine access and uptake.
Parental perceptions of COVID-19–like illness in their children

AUTHOR(S)
A. Hodson; L. Woodland; L. E. Smith (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Public Health

The objective of the study is to explore parents' perceptions of COVID-19–like symptoms in their child and attitudes towards isolating from others in the household when unwell. The study used qualitative, semistructured interviews.

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UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.

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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response

UNICEF Innocenti is mobilizing a rapid research response in line with UNICEF’s global response to the COVID-19 crisis. The initiatives we’ve begun will provide the broad range of evidence needed to inform our work to scale up rapid assessment, develop urgent mitigating strategies in programming and advocacy, and preparation of interventions to respond to the medium and longer-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The research projects cover a rapid review of evidence, education analysis, and social and economic policies.