Children are not significant contributors to the spread of Covid-19, research by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has found.
ummaries published today by HIQA investigates the international evidence on immunity and the spread of the virus by children.
Research has shown that children are not substantially contributing to the spread of Covid- 19, however, transmission is high among adults aged 25 years or older.
HIQA deputy chief and Director of Health Technology Assessment, Dr Máirín Ryan, said: “While the evidence is limited, it appears that children are not substantially contributing to the spread of Covid- 19 in their household or in schools.
“One study suggests that while there is high transmission of Covid-19 among adults aged 25 years or older, transmission is lower in younger people particularly in those under 14 years of age.”
HIQA also found that there is no clear evidence to suggest that long-term immunity from Covid-19 is possible as SARS-CoV-2 is still a new virus.
Dr Ryan added that “continued monitoring is needed to assess the adequacy and duration of the immune response for Covid-19.”
She said evidence shows that antibody response is maintained for one to two years after initial infection and decreases thereafter for other types of serious coronavirus infections, such as SARS-CoV-1, but it is not yet certain if antibodies are transferred from mother to the child in the womb via the placenta.
The findings show it is unknown if reinfection is possible following recovery from Covid-19.
“While some individuals have tested positive after recovery, this is likely due to virus re-detection where there is intermittent shedding of the virus rather than reinfection with a second virus.
"To date, there is no evidence that these individuals are infectious to others,” Dr Ryan added.
The summaries have been developed in an effort to answer research questions posed by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).
Evidence was gathered from 67 studies, including 54 case series, seven case reports, five cohort studies, and one cross-sectional study.
Three to 380 individuals participated in the case studies, and the number of samples taken ranged from 10 to 535.
The median age of individuals ranged from 40 to 68, and a similar number of males and females were followed across studies.