China Blames Children for Fueling Nationwide Coronavirus Outbreak

BEIJING - JUNE 1: Chinese children dressed in replica military uniforms wait to perform a dance to mark International Children's Day on June 1, 2005 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Guang Niu/Getty Images)
Guang Niu/Getty Images

China’s government claimed Sunday the nation’s latest Chinese coronavirus outbreak demonstrates a need for children as young as three years old to be “urgently” vaccinated against the disease despite recent evidence that young children age nine and younger pose little risk of transmitting coronavirus.

“There is more urgency to roll out vaccination to minors aged 3-11 as the COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus] flare-up continues, with more cases reported across the country,” the Global Times, an official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), reported November 7, citing CCP officials and alleged Chinese health “experts.”

“We used to think of COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus] as having low incidence in children, but as the pandemic has spread globally, we have seen increased infections in children, with the rates of severe illness and mortality surpassing influenza in some countries,” Wang Qinghua, chief immunologist for the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters at a press conference in Beijing on November 7.

While Wang did not specify which nations he referred to, an Israeli study published in late April by the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) found “children aged 0 to 9 years did not have substantial rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection during school attendance periods, and it may be assumed that they did not have a substantial role in COVID-19 spread either during this period.”

SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the virus that causes the disease known as “Covid-19” or the Chinese coronavirus.

A medical worker taking a swab sample from a child to be tested for the Covid-19 coronavirus, in Ganzhou District, in Zhangye, in China’s northwest Gansu province. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Another study published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America on October 14 found “symptomatic and asymptomatic children can carry high quantities of live, replicating SARS-CoV-2, creating a potential reservoir for transmission and evolution of genetic variants.”

The data centered on “110 children with COVID-19 (median age 10 years, range 2 weeks-21 years)” who tested positive for coronavirus at Massachusetts General Hospital or urgent care clinics.”

“[M]any of these samples were collected early in the pandemic and SARS-CoV-2 variants of interest have shifted over time,” the study’s authors acknowledged.

Researchers for the study hailed from Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Harvard Medical School.

The study noted that some of its coronavirus-positive test subjects suffered from underlying health conditions prior to contracting the disease. According to the study’s authors, 25 percent of the children who tested positive for coronavirus were obese, ten percent had asthma, and 35 percent had “other” non-disclosed pre-existing ailments that may have contributed to their contracting and presenting symptoms for coronavirus.

China’s coronavirus caseload has surged since October 17, with the CCP initially blaming alleged foreign sources from neighboring Mongolia on the new infections.

“Confirmed cases relating to this epidemic resurgence have already reached 918 from October 17 to November 5, affecting 44 cities in 20 provinces,” China’s National Health Commission said on November 7.

China is among just a handful of countries worldwide that have started vaccinating young children (about 3-11 years old), though several nations have said they plan to start vaccinating both younger and older children (about 12-17 years old) in the coming weeks and months.

A child receives the Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine at a school in Handan, in China’s northern Hebi province on October 27, 2021, after the city began vaccinating children between the ages of 3 to 11. (AFP via Getty Images)

The United States began administering coronavirus vaccines to children aged 5 to 11 years on November 3. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) approved an mRNA coronavirus vaccine made by Pfizer-BioNTech for emergency use in children of that age group on October 29. The United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) began administering China’s state-made coronavirus vaccine Sinopharm to children aged 3 to 17 years in August.

“On Nov. 1, UAE approved Pfizer-BioNtech shot for children aged 5-11 for emergency use,” Reuters reported.

“Bahrain approved Sinopharm … for children aged 3-11 from Oct. 27, while on Nov. 2, the Gulf state approved the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use for children aged between 5 and 11 years,” according to the news agency.

Indonesia’s government authorized another Chinese state-made coronavirus vaccine, Sinovac, for children aged 6 years and older.

Chinese health officials on Sunday did not explicitly state which coronavirus vaccines they were offering to children aged 3 to 11 years old, though previous state health drives have promoted the nation’s domestically produced vaccines, such as Sinopharm and Sinovac.


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