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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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COVID-19 vaccine acceptance among marginalized populations in Kosovo: insight from a qualitative study

AUTHOR(S)
Ha Thi Hong Nguyen; Mrike Aliu; Kimberly Ann Ashburn (et al.)

Institution: The World Bank
Published: October 2022
Kosovo has fully vaccinated 45.5 percent of the population, below what is needed to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptian communities, as marginalized ethnic groups, have been identified as high risk for acquiring COVID-19 and for lower acceptance of vaccines. Factors associated with vaccine acceptance are examined in this qualitative study among Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptian community members and representatives from civil society, community leaders, health care providers, and government working directly within these communities. Using a social-ecological model, intrapersonal, interpersonal, community, and structural factors influencing vaccine acceptance were identified. Intrapersonal-level factors centered on fear of side effects and doubt about vaccine safety and effectiveness, and lack of trust of health care providers; at the interpersonal level, male head of households decided for the entire family whether to receive the vaccine; in the social context at the community level, exposure to prolific misinformation on social media, television news, and paper pamphlets distributed in study communities created fear, doubt, and anxiety about vaccines, and stereotypes about the strong immune systems of ethnic minority groups reinforced beliefs about the communities low susceptibility to COVID-19; and structural-level barriers included the requirement for identification documents, and a buildup of doubt about motivations of the vaccinators created by massive vaccine-promotion efforts and police harassment in implementing curfew, and other protective measures targeting ethnic minority communities. Implications of these findings highlight a need for a segmented approach in designing subgroup-specific and multicomponent interventions to promote vaccine acceptance. Strategies include training local opinion leaders in door-to-door awareness raising, directly addressing misinformation, and distributing vouchers to be exchanged for incentives after vaccination; using social media where respected health care providers and community members post videos promoting vaccination; and removing or providing an alternative to identification requirements.
The impact of prior knowledge on adolescents' sexual and reproductive health behavior amidst the COVID-19 pandemic: the case of Kakamega County, Kenya

AUTHOR(S)
S. Ooko; A. Okoth; F. Njeru (et al.)

Published: September 2022

Adolescents (aged between 10 and 19 years) go through significant physical, physiological, and psychosocial changes from childhood to adulthood during this period. There are indications that during the COVID-19 pandemic, adolescents experienced a myriad of challenges as reported by various forms of media. These challenges included teenage pregnancies/ motherhood and early marriages amongst girls, drug and substance abuse, and other social deviancies that came with devastating consequences, notably a surge in school dropout, which shuttered their dreams for a better future. During the outreach activities by the African Women in Science and Engineering (AWSE), MMUST chapter, a gap for research in the realm of Sexual and Reproductive Health of adolescents was established, necessitating this study. The objective guided the study: To establish how prior Knowledge on Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) shaped their behavior in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The study adopted a Mixed Methods Research (MMR) approach, drawing on the strengths of both quantitative and qualitative paradigms, with a sample of 340 adolescents.

National distance learning programmes in response to the COVID-19 education disruption: case study of Finland
Institution: UNESCO
Published: August 2022

The aim of this case study is to present information on national or government-led distance learning programmes in response to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is hoped that this will enable reflection on the policy responses and their effectiveness in minimizing disruption and learning loss, enabling the continuity and quality of learning, and maintaining inclusion and equity.This case study of Finland is based on research that was conducted by the Ministry of Education and Culture and its stakeholders during the pandemic and other information available in public domain. Extensive links to source documents have been provided throughout the text, and these are mostly in the Finnish language.

The Kenya Ministry of education’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic: case study

AUTHOR(S)
Loise Gichuhi; Jane Kalista

Institution: UNESCO
Published: March 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprec-edented    disruption    to    social,    economic,    and cultural life worldwide. In Kenya, when schools  and  universities  closed  in  March 2020,  nearly  18  million  Kenyan  learners were  affected,  putting  at  stake  not  only  the  considerable  economic,  social,  and  political  gains  experienced  by  the  country  over  the  past decade, but also the significant commit-ment the Government has made to providing inclusive, quality education. This  analysis  aims  to  provide  policy  recom-mendations  to  strengthen  the  leadership  of  ministries of education (MoEs) and collabo-ration  with  partners  to  continue  to  provide  quality education in crisis situations. It seeks to shed light on this central question: What facilitates  government  leadership  in  crisis  and  risk  management  in  education  and  how  can  humanitarian  and  development  actors  more  effectively  support  the  Ministry  of Education in Kenya to lead effective educa-tion service delivery during crises?

Uneven global education stimulus risks widening learning disparities
Institution: UNESCO
Published: October 2021
Due  to  the  COVID-19  Pandemic,  governments  around  the world  risk  losing  years  of  progress  towards  the  Sustainable Development Goal on education (SDG4) in the 2030 Education Agenda if they do not invest sufficiently in education systems during the crisis response and recovery. Education is not only a human right, but also a strategy for ongoing economic revival and  sustainable  development.  Efforts  to  sustain  or  increase economic investment in education should be smart, strong, and leave no one behind, providing targeted stimulus to vulnerable populations at higher risk of dropping out. UNESCO believes that  the  post-pandemic  economic  recovery  is  dependent  on short- and long-term investment in flexible, resilient education systems that can respond quickly and efficiently.
The impact of COVID-19 on early childhood education in the Asia-Pacific and Sub-Saharan Africa: insights from the results of rapid regional personnel survey

AUTHOR(S)
Yoshie Kaga; Kyungah Bang

Institution: UNESCO
Published: July 2021

Declared a global pandemic on 11 March 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO), COVID-19 has had far-reaching impacts on every facet of life around the world, exacerbating pre-existing  inequalities  and  negatively  impacting  on  vulnerable  and  disadvantaged  populations  the  most.  Learning  continuity  has  been  disrupted  by  school  closures,  generating an unprecedented situation worldwide. According to UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) data collated in July 2020, over 18.6 million children in pre-primary education in forty-eight Sub-Saharan African countries and 4.4 million pre-primary teachers – eighty-five per cent of whom were women – in twenty-four countries in the Asia-Pacific region were affected by school or centre closures. Recognizing the possible severe and detrimental impact that COVID-19 might have on ECE personnel and their practices, UNESCO Bangkok and Dakar teamed up with several partners to undertake regional surveys in the Asia-Pacific and Sub-Saharan Africa from April to July 2020. Based on the regional surveys, this report features eight key findings and three key messages to better understand ECE personnel’s needs and to identify possible responses to support them.

Troubled schools in troubled times: how COVID-19 affects educational inequalities and what measures can be taken

AUTHOR(S)
Julia Frohn

Published: June 2021   Journal: European Educational Research Journal
When discussing possible consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems certain that the effects of the pandemic will most likely magnify existing educational disparities in Europe and around the world. However, so far, little is known about how the conditions and consequences of distance learning intensify existing dynamics of educational inequalities. This paper aims at answering the question of how educational disadvantages in socially deprived settings are exacerbated through the pandemic. On this basis, it reflects on potential educational practices that can help countering these dynamics. For this study, interviews with teachers in socio-economically disadvantaged (n = 12) and in privileged settings (n = 4) were conducted, transcribed and investigated through qualitative data analysis. The data were categorized with reference to Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of capital to analyze and systematize the empirical results. Finally, a case study from the interview material offers options for action that can counteract a possible worsening of educational disadvantages and help (re-)think school and teaching based on the experiences gained during the lockdown.
Exploration and ethical analysis of open-label pediatric vaccine trials in a pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Ian D. Wolfe; Angira Patel; Larry K. Kociolek (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: Clinical Therapeutics
Young children will ultimately need to be vaccinated to stop the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Initial studies of vaccine were performed in adults. Randomized controlled trials are the gold standard. In the COVID-19 pandemic, many questions need to be answered about the ethics and feasibility of these trials. Given the harms of the COVID-19 pandemic and the now-known efficacy of the vaccines in adults and teens, the question of whether clinical equipoise exists for a placebo-controlled trial of vaccines in younger children remains. Parents may be reluctant to enroll children in these trials because they want their child to receive the vaccine or because they are worried about vaccines or clinical trials in general. One option for gathering data on tolerability and efficacy in children would be to use a nonrandomized trial to enroll parents willing to vaccinate their children and those who are hesitant. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of such an open-label trial that could provide guidance for future pandemics.
Pregnant in the United States in the COVID-19 pandemic: a collision of crises we cannot ignore

AUTHOR(S)
Pamela Stratton; Elena Gorodetsky; Janine Clayton

Published: April 2021   Journal: Journal of the National Medical Association

The COVID-19 pandemic and call for social justice is occurring when the United States, unlike its peer countries, has already experienced a steady 20-year rise in maternal morbidity and mortality with pregnant women today facing a 50 percent higher risk of mortality than their mothers.  Most vulnerable are women of color, black and American Indian/Alaska Native women, who have experienced longstanding disparities in access to and quality of healthcare and may begin pregnancy with hypertension, diabetes, and obesity, complications known to be more common in women enduring segregation. Initially, the race-related health disparities and resultant disproportionately higher rates of COVID-19 cases and mortality in indigenous communities and black, latins, or other communities of color were mistakenly considered innate racial differences. More recently, these higher rates have been attributed to underlying social, structural, and environmental determinants of health including resource inequities, inadequate housing, and occupational and environmental hazards that result in greater exposure to and less protection from COVID-19.

Child maltreatment reports and Child Protection Service responses during COVID-19: Knowledge exchange among Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Germany, Israel, and South Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Ilan Katz; Carmit Katz; Sabine Andresen (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

COVID-19 has become a worldwide pandemic impacting child protection services (CPSs) in many countries. With quarantine and social distancing restrictions, school closures, and recreational venues suspended or providing reduced access, the social safety net for violence prevention has been disrupted significantly. Impacts include the concerns of underreporting and increased risk of child abuse and neglect, as well as challenges in operating CPSs and keeping their workforce safe. The current discussion paper explored the impact of COVID-19 on child maltreatment reports and CPS responses by comparing countries using available population data.

Pandemic-related disruptions to schooling and impacts on learning proficiency indicators: a focus on the early grades March 2021

AUTHOR(S)
Martin Gustafsson

Institution: UNESCO
Published: March 2021

This report focuses on the impacts of the pandemic on learning proficiency, specifically as measured by Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Indicator 4.1.1. Over the last couple of decades, there has been a growing awareness of how crucial learning proficiency, especially that of younger children, is for human development.  The evidence  is  clear  that  improvements  in  proficiency  underpin  future  economic development,  and  the  building  of  more  cohesive  and  equal societies.  The indicators  on  learning proficiency are among the most discussed indicators within the SDG framework.

Vaccine trials ramp up in children and adolescents

AUTHOR(S)
Jennifer Couzin-Frankel

Published: February 2021   Journal: Science
As older adults, health care workers, firefighters, and others roll up their sleeves for a COVID-19 vaccine, there's a flurry of research to get shots to children, for whom no vaccine has yet been authorized. Even though young people are less likely to fall seriously ill, doctors and scientists agree that vaccinating them is crucial for their own protection and that of the broader population. And because companies already have solid data from adult trials, they are running smaller studies in children that focus on safety and immune responses to COVID-19 vaccines.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 371 | Issue: 6532 | No. of pages: 874-875 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: adolescent health, child health, COVID-19, vaccination, vaccination policies
Investigating Risks and Opportunities for Children in a Digital World A rapid review of the evidence on children’s internet use and outcomes

AUTHOR(S)
Mariya Stoilova; Sonia Livingstone; Rana Khazbak

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: January 2021

Children’s lives are increasingly mediated by digital technologies. Yet, when it comes to understanding the long-term effects of internet use and online experiences on their well-being, mental health or resilience, the best we can do is make an educated guess. Our need for this knowledge has become even more acute as internet use rises during COVID-19. This report explores what has been learned from the latest research about children’s experiences and outcomes relating to the internet and digital technologies. It aims to inform policy-makers, educators, child-protection specialists, industry and parents on the best evidence, and it proposes a future research agenda.

It’s time for care, prioritizing quality care for children - Challenges, opportunities and an agenda for action

AUTHOR(S)
Gillian Huebner

Institution: *UNICEF, Better Care Network
Published: December 2020
COVID-19 is having unprecedented impacts on children and families across the globe; however, these are not being evenly experienced. While the challenges of caregiving are increasing for most families, the effects are particularly acute for those already engaged in low-wage or in-kind work, often in the informal economy where there are few safeguards. Caregivers are stretched, and there is a lack of quality, affordable childcare, with limited access to social protection, services and support to address the multiple and cumulative risks associated with the pandemic, as well as persistent poverty, systemic inequality and discrimination.
COVID-19 pandemic: increased risk for psychopathology in children and adolescents?

AUTHOR(S)
Esther Via; Xavier Estrada-Prat; Jordina Tor (et al.)

Published: November 2020
Abstract COVID-19 pandemic is prompting multiple stressors-including control strategies such as lockdown- which may impact child and adolescent mental health. 1,529 caregivers answered an online questionnaire about emotional and behavioral symptoms of youths (4-18 years old) using the Pediatric Symptom Checklist (PSC).
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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.