Explainer: What Australian parents need to know about COVID-19 and children

Categories: General news | Lesson 7

Nine.com.au has asked infectious diseases paediatrician Robert Booy some questions about the issues worrying parents the most.

Dr Booy is a professor of paediatrics and child health at the University of Sydney. He is also a senior professorial fellow at the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) at Westmead Children’s Hospital.

Why are so many kids getting infected?

Looking at the numbers of children getting infected lately, it could be natural to assume that Delta is targeting children.

However, this is not the case, Professor Booy says.

The highly infectious nature of the Delta strain means that not just more kids but more adults are getting infected with COVID-19. However, because most kids are not yet vaccinated in Australia, it means the proportion of children getting infected with the virus has increased, Professor Booy said.

“Delta is not picking on children. It’s just picking on humans because it’s so very transmissible,” he said.

Are kids getting sicker with Delta?

While it’s clear more children are getting infected thanks to the Delta variant, the majority are still showing mild or no symptoms of the virus.

“The numbers that die from COVID who are children is tiny,” Professor Booy said.

“I believe we don’t have yet one child death in Australia directly attributable to COVID, yet 1000 adults have died.”

Read more here.