WHO Europe: Kids In 5-14 Age Group Show Highest COVID Rates

The World Health Organization’s Europe office revealed on Tuesday that children aged 5 to 14 have the highest rates of reported COVID-19 infection in the region.

Dr. Hans Kluge, WHO Europe regional director, also emphasized that vaccine requirements should be used only as a “last resort,” adding that COVID-19 mortality remain “much below past peaks.” However, he claims that coronavirus cases and deaths have more than doubled in the last two months in the 53-country zone ranging from the Mediterranean to Central Asia.

He emphasized the ongoing threat posed by the widespread delta version, while noting that the new omicron variation has so far accounted for 432 confirmed cases in 21 countries across the area.

“The delta variant remains widespread across Europe and Central Asia, and we know that COVID-19 vaccines continue to be successful in lowering severe disease and fatalities from it,” he told reporters from WHO Europe headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark. “It remains to be seen how and whether the latest COVID-19 form of concern, omicron, will be more or less transmissible, as well as how severe it will be.”

WHO Europe: Kids in 5-14 age group show highest COVID rates - The Financial  Express

Kluge encouraged countries to “guard children and schools” in the face of the region’s rapid growth in cases among the young, claiming that the prevalence of COVID-19 was two to three times greater among young children in some regions than among the general population. Children have had less severe cases than more vulnerable populations such as the elderly, health care professionals, and persons with weakened immune systems.

“As school breaks approach, we must also recognize that children contaminate their parents and grandparents at home, with a tenfold increased risk for these people to suffer serious sickness, be hospitalized, or die if they are not vaccinated,” he stated. “The threats to children’s health extend beyond the children themselves.”

Kluge also came out against vaccination mandates, saying they should be used only as a “absolute last resort” and only in certain circumstances.

According to the U.N. health agency’s weekly epidemiological report released last week, the European region has been the global focus of the epidemic for weeks, accounting for 70% of cases and 61% of deaths globally.

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