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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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The challenges of a children’s hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic: the pediatric surgeon’s point of view

AUTHOR(S)
Gloria Pelizzo; Sara Costanzo; Luciano Maestri (et al.)

Published: November 2020   Journal: Pediatric Reports
During the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) emergency, in the pediatric surgical setting, it has been essential to avoid and contain infections as well as to protect both the patients and the surgical team. During this emergency, procedures and workflow were adapted to provide the safest possible environment for both the surgical team and the patients. Pediatric surgical activities were reorganized during the COVID-19 pandemic at the “Vittore Buzzi” Children’s Hospital, which is a pediatric/maternal hospital located in Milan (Lombardy Region), Italy. Resources were optimized in order to maintain high levels of care and quality of assistance. During the COVID-19 emergency, the pediatric surgical department at the “Vittore Buzzi” Children’s Hospital became an acute care surgical service.
Who should be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination?

AUTHOR(S)
Fiona M. Russell; Brian Greenwood

Published: November 2020   Journal: Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics
The development of COVID-19 vaccines is occurring at a rapid pace, with the potential for a vaccine to be available within 6 months. So who should be prioritized for vaccination when in the first instance, there will be insufficient supply to meet demand? There is no doubt that health-care workers in all settings should be vaccinated first, but who comes next will be a complex decision based on local epidemiology, societal values, and the ability of the vaccines to prevent both severe disease and to reduce transmission thereby eliciting herd protection. The decision on who to vaccinate should be equitable, highly contextualized, and based on the property of each vaccine. In some settings, the elderly may be prioritized, in others, it may be the population most likely to get infected and responsible for community spread. To support decision-making on who to be prioritized for vaccination requires urgent additional research on the epidemiology of COVID-19; preexisting immunity and who is responsible for transmission in a variety of settings; the safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines in children and pregnant women; and determining whether COVID-19 vaccines prevent asymptomatic infection and transmission.
Caregiver willingness to vaccinate their children against COVID-19: Cross sectional survey

AUTHOR(S)
Ran D. Goldman; Tyler D. Yan; Michelle Seiler (et al.)

Published: November 2020   Journal: Vaccine
More than 100 COVID-19 vaccine candidates are in development since the SARS-CoV-2genetic sequence was published in January 2020. The uptake of a COVID-19 vaccine among children will be instrumental in limiting the spread of the disease as herd immunity may require vaccine coverage of up to 80% of the population. Prior history of pandemic vaccine coverage was as low as 40% among children in the United States during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. This paper aims to investigate predictors associated with global caregivers’ intent to vaccinate their children against COVID-19, when the vaccine becomes available.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 38 | Issue: 48 | No. of pages: 7668-7673 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: disease control, disease transmission, vaccination, COVID-19 response | Countries: United States
Age-structured model for COVID-19: Effectiveness of social distancing and contact reduction in Kenya

AUTHOR(S)
Mark Kimathi; Samuel Mwalili; Viona Ojiambo (et al.)

Published: October 2020   Journal: Infectious Disease Modelling
Coronavirus disease 2019 is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Kenya reported its first case on March 13, 2020 and by March 16, 2020 she instituted physical distancing strategies to reduce transmission and flatten the epidemic curve. An age-structured compartmental model was developed to assess the impact of the strategies on COVID-19 severity and burden. Contacts between different ages are incorporated via contact matrices. Simulation results show that 45% reduction in contacts for 60-days period resulted to 11.5–13% reduction of infections severity and deaths, while for the 190-days period yielded 18.8–22.7% reduction. The peak of infections in the 60-days mitigation was higher and happened about 2 months after the relaxation of mitigation as compared to that of the 190-days mitigation, which happened a month after mitigations were relaxed. Low numbers of cases in children under 15 years was attributed to high number of asymptomatic cases. High numbers of cases are reported in the 15–29 years and 30–59 years age bands. Two mitigation periods, considered in the study, resulted to reductions in severe and critical cases, attack rates, hospital and ICU bed demands, as well as deaths, with the 190-days period giving higher reductions.
Risk factors for re‐detectable positivity in recovered COVID‐19 children

AUTHOR(S)
Denggao Peng; Jing Zhang; Yiling Ji (et al.)

Published: October 2020   Journal: Pediatric Pulmonology

This paper aims to identify the risk factors for redetectable positivity, and to provide a basis for prevention and control of coronavirus disease‐2019 (COVID‐19) in children. A retrospective study was performed on all pediatric patients diagnosed with COVID‐19. Redetectable positivity was defined as the positive result of real‐time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) after symptom resolution and discharge. Children were defined as being less than 18 years old.

Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 55 | Issue: 12 | No. of pages: 3602-3609 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: child health, disease control, disease prevention, COVID-19
What chances do children have against COVID-19? Is the answer hidden within the thymus?

AUTHOR(S)
Hatice Güneş; Serpil Dinçer; Can Acıpayam (et al.)

Published: October 2020   Journal: European Journal of Pediatrics
As with other types of coronaviruses, SARS-CoV-2 affects children less frequently, and it has been observed that the disease is mild. In the pathogenesis of a standard viral infection, the pathogen’s contact with the mucosa is initially followed by an innate immunity response. T cells are the primary decisive element in adaptive immunity capability. For this reason, the adaptive immune response mediated by the thymus is a process that regulates the immune response responsible for preventing invasive damage from a virus. Regulatory T cells (T-reg) are active during the early periods of life and have precise roles in immunomodulation. The thymus is highly active in the intrauterine and neonatal period; it begins to shrink after birth and continues its activity until adolescence. The loss of T-reg function by age results in difficulty with the control of the immune response, increased inflammation as shown in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as an inflammatory storm. Also, the thymus is typically able to replace the T cells destroyed by apoptosis caused by the virus. Thymus and T cells are the key factors of pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 in children. Since thymus activity and T lymphocyte function in children protect them against the virus effects, stimulating and preventing the inhibition of the thymus can be possible treatment components against COVID-19.
COVID-19 trends among school-aged children — United States, March 1–September 19, 2020

AUTHOR(S)
Rebecca T. Leeb; Sandy Price; Sarah Sliwa (et al.)

Published: October 2020   Journal: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

Children aged <10 years can transmit SARS-CoV-2 in school settings, but less is known about COVID-19 incidence, characteristics, and health outcomes among school-aged children (aged 5–17 years) with COVID-19. Since March, 277,285 COVID-19 cases in children have been reported. COVID-19 incidence among adolescents aged 12–17 years was approximately twice that in children aged 5–11 years. Underlying conditions were more common among school-aged children with severe outcomes related to COVID-19. Weekly incidence, SARS-CoV-2 test volume, and percentage of tests positive among school-aged children varied over time and by region of the United States. It is important for schools and communities to monitor multiple indicators of COVID-19 among school-aged children and layer prevention strategies to reduce COVID-19 disease risk for students, teachers, school staff, and families. These results can provide a baseline for monitoring trends and evaluating mitigation strategies.

Cite this research | Vol.: 69 | No. of pages: 1410-1415 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: child health, disease control, disease transmission, schools, COVID-19 | Countries: United States
Responding to non-communicable diseases during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic

This brief provides guidance for governments, policymakers, UN agencies and development partners to address non-communicable diseases (NCDs) as an integral part of the COVID-19 response and in broader efforts for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. NCDs, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease, are amplifying the impacts of COVID-19, and COVID-19 is exacerbating the burden of NCDs, particularly in already disadvantaged communities. Almost one fourth (22%) of the global population is estimated to have an underlying condition that increases their vulnerability to COVID-19, and most of these conditions are NCDs. Urgent action across sectors is needed to address the root causes of NCDs and increase access to affordable and quality treatments and prevention.

A citizen science facemask experiment and educational modules to improve coronavirus safety in communities and schools

AUTHOR(S)
Sarah E. Eichler; Austin P. Hopperton; Juan José Alava (et al.)

Published: September 2020   Journal: Frontiers in Medicine
There is need to support facemask citizen science and experiential education among children and families as the globe exits from the current lockdown, and teachers and students desire and seek for safe strategies to return to densely-attended schools. COVID-19 is a pandemic respiratory disease that disseminates as infectious respiratory or saliva droplets are released into the environment as people talk, sneeze, and cough. Currently the most publicized methods to prevent local transmission of COVID-19 and promote “droplet safety” in hospitals and communities include hand washing, social distancing, and stay-at-home strategies. In contrast to established benefits for medical masks in hospitals, the benefits of wearing masks or face covers/coverings (hereafter, “facemask”) in the community have been inconsistently debated by the media, creating confusion, and misinformation. Furthermore, high-profile political leaders in countries heavily affected by the pandemic have given misleading signs regarding containment measures associated with COVID-19 increasingly polarizing local communities around arguments on the value of facemasks in promoting public health, which is critically important to incentivize during the emergence of citizens from their lockdowns and during the phase of reopening local economies.
An analysis of child-care and school outbreak data and evidence-based recommendations for opening schools & keeping them open

AUTHOR(S)
Fiona Russell; Kathryn Snow; Margie Danchin (et al.)

Published: September 2020
This report is an analysis of the global literature and available Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) and school outbreak data, 25 January 2020 – 31 August 2020. It aims to explore the role of ECEC and schools in transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
Surveillance of COVID-19 school outbreaks, Germany, March to August 2020

AUTHOR(S)
Eveline Otte im Kampe; Ann-Sophie Lehfeld; Silke Buda (et al.)

Published: September 2020   Journal: Eurosurveillance
Mitigation of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Germany included school closures in early March 2020. After reopening in April, preventive measures were taken in schools. This paper analyses national surveillance system data on COVID-19 school outbreaks during different time periods. After reopening, smaller outbreaks (average: 2.2/week) occurred despite low incidence in the general population. School closures might have a detrimental effect on children and should be applied only cautiously and in combination with other measures.
Objectives for COVID-19 testing in school settings
Institution: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
Published: August 2020
The aim of this document is to provide an overview of major aspects of testing, contact tracing, contact identification and contact follow-up in school settings within the EU/EEA countries and the United Kingdom (UK).
Infection control practices in children during COVID-19 pandemic: differences from adults

AUTHOR(S)
Ilker Devrim; Nuri Bayram

Published: August 2020   Journal: The American Journal of Infection Control
Limited studies have been published on practices and management of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in children. Despite the fact that COVID-19 rarely caused any severe disease in children, the asymptomatic children might be playing an important role for spreading COVID-19 in healthcare facilities. This review aimed at sharing our experience of how to handle patients with COVID-19 in a pediatric referral and tertiary care hospital to prevent the possible transmissions to the healthcare workers (HCWs).
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 48 | Issue: 8 | No. of pages: 933-939 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: child care services, child health, disease control, disease transmission, infectious disease, COVID-19
Polio in Afghanistan: the current situation amid COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Attaullah Ahmadi; Mohammad Yasir Essar; Xu Lin (et al.)

Published: August 2020   Journal: The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Polio is a deadly viral disease that has been paralyzing many children in Afghanistan. Despite fundamental efforts, primarily vaccination, to reduce the number of cases in Afghanistan, there are still many children who are deprived of the vaccine every year. Afghanistan is one of the two remaining countries endemic for polio, and the country has undergone various challenges that have hampered the eradication of this disease. The underlying challenges include inaccessibility of unsecured areas, illiteracy, refusal, and, most recently, COVID-19. The country is in the midst of a battle against COVID-19, and polio has almost entirely been neglected.
Transmission of SARS-CoV-2: implications for infection prevention precautions
Institution: WHO
Published: July 2020
This document is an update to the scientific brief published on 29 March 2020 entitled “Modes of transmission of virus causing COVID-19: implications for infection prevention and control (IPC) precaution recommendations” and includes new scientific evidence available on transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Cite this research | No. of pages: 10 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: disease control, disease transmission, infectious disease, COVID-19 | Publisher: WHO
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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.