May 30, 2024

Understanding the immune system of children may be the key to understanding susceptibility to SARS-COV-2


The following article published by The Lancet offers some explanations why children are less susceptible to the COVID-19 disease.

According to the authors, pediatric immune systems are prepared and fit to react to viruses. This could be due to several factors, including the capacity of children to rapidly produce natural antibodies with broad reactivity, and the generally “healthier” immune systems which can react rapidly.

Editor’s Note: Parents and teachers around the world are concerned about the safety of their children. In the Philippines, they continue to protest against the opening of classes on August 24, 2020. Many claim that children are not safe, with many insisting that the Department of Education cancel classes altogether until a vaccine is developed. But as the article above shows, this demand is based mainly on the fear of the adults, not on real science.

While there have been reports of young children getting infected by the coronavirus, a vast majority are able to recover from it. Many do not develop any symptoms at all, and only a small number experience mild symptoms [see Why Is The Coronavirus Sparing Kids?]. Even fewer are those who die from the illness, and due to the way deaths are recorded, there is no real proof that shows these children have died DUE TO COVID-19 [see Lessons We Can Learn From COVID-19 Autopsies and Why Russia Has A Very Low COVID-19 Death Rate to understand what we mean]

Science shows us that children’s immune systems have evolved to naturally protect them from pathogens [to understand how the human immune system works, read What Happens When You Boost Your Immune System]. This gives us several important insights. 
First is that children’s immune systems learn to protect them from pathogens by encountering those pathogens naturally. When we canceled school and prevented children from going outside, we have protected them from encountering the SARS-COV-2 virus. Unfortunately, this also meant that we have prevented their immune systems from learning what this virus is, and in effect, from developing the right antibodies and immune response. 

Second, children’s immune systems are naturally designed to protect them from pathogens they might encounter. If we think that their immune systems are not strong enough to fight against the SARS-COV-2 virus, then there is only one solution to this: help them boost their immune systems [There are many ways to do this. For ideas, visit the article category Boost Your Immune System]. No matter how long we suspend classes, if their immune systems are weak, they will still be able to catch the virus, and in extremely rare cases, cause them to get really sick because of it.

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