COVID worsens asthma in children; booster after infection not as beneficial as Omicron

By Nancy Lapid

(Reuters) – The following is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that deserves further study to corroborate the findings and that has not yet been certified by peer review.

COVID-19 worsens asthma in children

Asthma in children may worsen after infection with coronavirus, doctors warn.

They studied nearly 62,000 American children with asthma who underwent PCR tests for the virus in the first year of the pandemic, including more than 7,700 who tested positive. Infected children had significantly more asthma visits, hospitalizations, use of emergency inhalers and steroid treatments in the six months following their illness compared to children who tested negative and their own history, researchers reported in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice https://www.jaci-inpractice.org/article/S2213-2198(22)00360-9/fulltext. Children who tested negative for the virus ‘have improved asthma control over the next six months, which means fewer emergency room visits and hospitalizations for asthma, and less treatment for asthma. asthma,” said Dr. Christine Chou of Children’s Health of Orange County, California.

Findings from previous studies showing improved asthma control early in the pandemic were likely due to public health measures like staying home and masking, which reduced exposure to asthma triggers. , she said. Despite the general impression that children with asthma did well in the first year of the pandemic, Chou added, the new study shows “more lasting harm from COVID on children’s asthma control.”

Booster after infection adds little additional benefit over Omicron

Among people who have already been infected with the coronavirus, a third dose of an mRNA vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna may not boost their protection against the Omicron variant of the virus, according to new data.

Researchers studied nearly 130,000 people tested for COVID in Connecticut from November 2021 to January 2022, including 10,676 with Omicron infections. About 6% to 8% had been infected with previous versions of the coronavirus, according to a report posted on medRxiv https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.04.19.22274056v3 before peer review. Two doses of an mRNA vaccine helped protect against Omicron in people with previous infections, but “we did not detect any additional benefit from receiving a third booster dose in this population,” said Margaret Lind of Yale University.

A separate study from Canada, also posted on medRxiv https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.04.29.22274455v1 prior to peer review, also found that more than two doses of vaccine “can have a additional marginal valueā€¯ to protect previously infected individuals against Omicron. The message, Lind said, “should be that (1) people should get two doses of mRNA vaccine whether or not they have had a previous infection, that (2) people with no previous infection should get one dose of booster and that (3) people with a history of infections should consider a booster dose, particularly if they are in a high-risk group for life-threatening complications, but recognize that this may not provide additional protection significant against infection beyond two doses.

Click for a Reuters graphic https://tmsnrt.rs/3c7R3Bl on vaccines in development.

(Reporting by Nancy Lapid; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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