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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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A critical assessment of the potential vertical transmission hypotheses: Implications for research on the early-life infection with COVID-19

Mengqin Yang; Qiuqin Wang; Yulei Song (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Placenta
The risk of potential vertical transmission in SARS-CoV-2 infected pregnant women is currently a topic of debate. To explore the correlation between the two, this study searched PubMed, Embase®, and Web of Science for studies on vertical transmission of COVID-19. The quality of the studies was evaluated by the Cochrane risk of bias tool. Detailed information of each included case including methods of delivery, protection measures for mothers and neonates at birth, types of specimens, inspection time, results of testing and feeding patterns was collected to assess the possibility of vertical transmission.
Health disparities and their effects on children and their caregivers during the Coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic

Lynn C. Smitherman; William Christopher Golden; Jennifer R. Walton

Published: October 2021   Journal: Pediatric Clinics of North America

Health disparities are defined as differences among specific populations in the ability to achieve full health potential (as measured by differences in incidence, prevalence, mortality, burden of disease, and other adverse health conditions). Among children, multiple factors contribute to these disparities, including economic stability, and access to health care. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, before the current pandemic, 12 million children in the United States were living in poverty in 2019, including one-third of African American and Native American children and 25% of Latinx children.8 During the same period, of the 4.4 million children without health insurance, 14% were Native American, 9% were of Hispanic descent, and 18% were immigrants. At present, owing to the impact of the pandemic on job security, more than 50% of African American, Latinx, and multiethnic adults are now without medical insurance, directly affecting the health security of their children.8 With the onset of the pandemic and the social and political upheaval felt by many disenfranchised communities, these well-documented disparities (and the importance of addressing them) have again been brought to the attention of the medical community. This overview will examine the effects of these health disparities in various populations of children in this country. We will first examine the historical context of health disparities, how they developed, and why they still exist. We will then examine how specifically the COVID-19 pandemic impacted these disparities among children and adolescents, both directly and indirectly. Finally, we hope to provide some recommendations to reduce these disparities.

COVID-19 and schools: what is the risk of contagion? Results of a rapid-antigen-test-based screening campaign in Florence, Italy

Guglielmo Bonaccorsi; Sonia Paoli; Massimiliano Alberto Biamonte (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: International Journal of Infectious Diseases

In the coronavirus disease 2019 era, debate around the risk of contagion in school is intense in Italy. The Department of Welfare and Health of Florence promoted a screening campaign with rapid antigen tests for all students and school personnel. The aim of this study was to assess the circulation of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) in the school setting by means of mass screening in every primary and middle school in Florence. All students and school personnel at primary and middle schools in Florence were asked to take part. The campaign started on 16 November 2020 and was completed on 12 February 2021. If a subject had a positive result on rapid antigen testing, a molecular test was performed to confirm the result.

Early exploration of COVID-19 vaccination safety and effectiveness during pregnancy: interim descriptive data from a prospective observational study

Inna Bleicher; Einav Kadour-Peero; Lena Sagi-Dain (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Vaccine
During December 2020, a massive vaccination program was introduced in our country. The Pfizer-BioNTech, BNT162b2 vaccine was first offered exclusively to high-risk population, such as medical personnel (including pregnant women). This study compares short term outcomes in vaccinated vs. non-vaccinated pregnant women. In this prospective observational cohort study, vaccinated and non-vaccinated pregnant women were recruited using an online Google forms questionnaire targeting medical groups on Facebook and WhatsApp. A second questionnaire was sent one month after the first one for interim analysis.
Psychological distress, optimism and emotion regulation among Israeli Jewish and Arab pregnant women during COVID-19

Miriam Chasson; Taubman Ben-Ari; Salam Abu-Sharkia (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology

Pregnancy is a vulnerable period for women, and it is especially so under the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Whereas there is some evidence for distress among pregnant women during the outspread of COVID-19, little is known about the second wave of the pandemic. This study therefore sought to examine the contribution of background variables, ethnicity (Jewish, Arab), personal resources (optimism, emotion regulation), and COVID-19-related anxieties to pregnant Israeli women’s psychological distress. A convenience sample of 1127 Israeli women was recruited from 5 July to 7 October 2020.

Stress level and general mental state in Polish pregnant women during COVID-19 pandemic

Agata Mikolajkow; Krzysztof Małyszczak

Published: September 2021   Journal: Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology

COVID-19 pandemic may contribute to mental state worsening. Mental health disorders in pregnancy are known to have adverse outcomes both for mothers and their children. It is the first study in Poland to investigate the impact of the pandemic on stress level and general mental state in pregnant women. Three hundred sixteen pregnant women completed an online survey containing four instruments. The main research questions were investigated with Bayesian regression analyses.

Pandemic-related parental distress: examining associations with family meals and child feeding practices during the COVID-19 pandemic

Caroline E. West; Clarissa V. Shields; Kara V. Hultstrand (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Children's Health Care
The present study examined associations between COVID-19-related negative impact and parental distress and aspects of the home food environment. Parents (N= 189) of children ages 7–17 completed an online survey assessing COVID-19-related impact and distress, household meals, feeding practices, and weight concern. Results suggested an inverse association between impact and distress and structured meals and positive associations with both restrictive feeding practices and weight concern. Food insecurity significantly moderated the association between impact and structured meals and remains a necessary target for intervention. Future research should explore factors that may mitigate the impact of COVID-19-related distress on the home food environment.
Adolescent consent to COVID-19 vaccination: the need for law reform

Robert S. Olick; Y. Tony Yang; Jana Shaw (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Public Health Reports
With the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) emergency use authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents aged 12-15 years on May 10, 2021, COVID-19 vaccination is now available to all adolescents aged 12-17 years. Moderna has also applied for emergency use authorization approval for this age group.1 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly recommends vaccination of the adolescent population, which comprises approximately 25 million people in the United States. Comprehensive protection is critical to adolescent and population health and is a big step toward a return to “normal life” for young people, including in-person school. Vaccine hesitancy—the reluctance or refusal to choose vaccination—identified by the World Health Organization as a top 10 global health threat, undermines these goals. According to a June 2021 Kaiser Family Foundation COVID-19 poll, 42% of parents with adolescents aged 12-17 years said they had either already vaccinated their children or planned to vaccinate their children, 18% said they would “wait a while to see how it is working,” 25% were definitely opposed, and 10% would choose vaccination only if required for school.
Providing breastfeeding support during COVID-19: a survey of staff experiences

Rachel Hoying; Nevert Badreldin; Malika D. Shah (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Journal of Human Lactation

The COVID-19 pandemic presents unique challenges to maternity settings. Its effect on providing in-hospital lactation support has not been well described. This study aims to describe the experiences of healthcare workers as they provided in-hospital lactation support during the pandemic.A prospective, cross-sectional, online survey evaluated healthcare providers working with postpartum women and newborns affected by COVID-19 at an academic center during March–June 2020. Providers were queried regarding the influence of COVID-19 and COVID-19-specific policies on providing lactation support. Questions assessed guidance received, perceived stress, difficulty providing care, and solicited qualitative responses. The constant comparative method was used to analyze qualitative data.

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on delayed/missed routine immunization in children (0-24 months) in Islamabad, Pakistan

Sabeen Abid Khan; Muhammad Imran; Rabia Tabassum (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health
It is very important to understand the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on routine immunization uptake in children in Islamabad, Pakistan. This cross-sectional study was done from November 2020 to January 2021. Children aged 0 to 24 months were enrolled from vaccination centers in public and private sector hospitals. In the private center vaccination services were suspended from March 20 2020 till August 2020. The public center continued to provide vaccination service during the lockdown. Delayed vaccination was defined as a lapse of 4 weeks from the due date. Children who had missed vaccination due to health issue or on doctors' recommendations were excluded.
How parents share and limit their child’s access to information about COVID-19: a mixed methods online survey study

Marla A. Garcia de Avila; Bernie Carter; Lucy Blake (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Journal of Child Health Care
This study aimed to understand the role that parents play in sharing or limiting their child’s access to information about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). A subset of data from an international mixed methods online survey study was analysed to elucidate the findings from Brazil. An online survey, conducted between April and June 2020, gathered closed and open text views from parents of children aged 7–12 years old. Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics. Qualitative open text data were analysed using the three stages of the Bardin content analysis framework: pre-analysis (data organisation and initial full-content reading); exploration of the material (thematic coding to identify major motifs and develop thematic categories) and interpretation (treating the data as significant and valid). The sample consisted of 112 (89%) mothers and 14 (11%) fathers. The analysis of the parents open text resulted in two categories: ‘How parents share information with their children about COVID-19’ and ‘How parents limit information to their children about COVID-19’. Some parents reported adopting an honest and open approach on how they shared information with their children, whilst some parents chose to minimise their child’s access to information about the pandemic over concerns of the mortality related to COVID-19.
Preterm birth among women with and without severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection

Matthew J. Blitz; Rachel P. Gerber; Moti Gulersen (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica

Studies directly comparing preterm birth rates in women with and without severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection are limited. This study's objective was to determine whether preterm birth was affected by SARS-CoV-2 infection within a large integrated health system in New York with a universal testing protocol. This retrospective cohort study evaluated data from seven hospitals in New York City and Long Island between March 2020 and June 2021, incorporating both the first and second waves of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the USA. All patients with live singleton gestations who had SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing at delivery were included. Deliveries before 20 weeks of gestation were excluded.

Covid-19 vaccination during the third trimester of pregnancy: rate of vaccination and maternal and neonatal outcomes, a multicentre retrospective cohort study

M. Rottenstreich; HY Sela; R. Rotem (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: BJOG

This study aims to evaluate the impact of Covid-19 vaccination (Pfizer–BioNTech BNT162b2) during the third trimester of pregnancy on maternal and neonatal outcomes.Women who received two doses of the vaccine were compared with unvaccinated women. Women who were recorded as having disease or a positive Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab during pregnancy or delivery were excluded from both study groups. Univariate analysis was followed by multivariate logistic regression.

Recommendations for the urgent need to vaccinate school-aged and adolescent children against COVID-19 in the Asia–Pacific region

Jun Kobayashi; Rie Takeuchi; Fumiko Shibuya (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Tropical Medicine and Health
This study recommends urgent expansion of a vaccination program for adolescents and school-age children against SARS-CoV-2 infection in the Western Pacific region. Since July 2021, SARS-CoV-2 infections in children have increased rapidly in this region. As infection rates rise due to the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, current preventive strategies such as mask wearing and social distancing have controlled its spread effectively. Prolonged school closure is currently being promoted to suppress virus spread among children. However, the negative impact of prolonged school closure is significant. Although vaccination of children under 12 is still controversial, preparations must be made now for their vaccination.
COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy and lactation: current research and gaps in understanding

Lydia L. Shook; Parisa N. Fallah; Jason N. Silberman (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Cellular Infection
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the urgent need to develop vaccine strategies optimized for pregnant people and their newborns, as both populations are at risk of developing severe disease. Although not included in COVID-19 vaccine development trials, pregnant people have had access to these vaccines since their initial release in the US and abroad. The rapid development and distribution of novel COVID-19 vaccines to people at risk, including those who are pregnant and lactating, presents an unprecedented opportunity to further our understanding of vaccine-induced immunity in these populations. This review aims to summarize the literature to date on COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy and lactation and highlight opportunities for investigation that may inform future maternal vaccine development and implementation strategies.
1 - 15 of 1352

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.