Fewer Children Died in 2020, Despite the Pandemic. Experts Are Trying to Figure Out Why

Since the global pandemic began, one of the grimmer features of daily life has been watching the coronavirus death count tick up and up as the months have gone by. With so much unnecessary death in 2020, it’s surprising that in many countries, at least according to preliminary numbers, there was one significant group that actually saw its death rates fall: children. Data from the Human Mortality Database, a research project run by a global team of demographers, suggest that COVID-19 did not reverse years-long declines in child mortality, despite a mortality surge in the general population. Demographers, pediatricians and public-health experts say it’s possible that lockdowns and quarantines have prevented children from succumbing to deadly injuries and illnesses. But they also point out that other effects of the pandemic, such as lower vaccination rates and reduced prenatal care may increase childhood mortality rates going forward. The database, jointly maintained by the University of California, Berkeley, the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany and the French Institute of Demographic Studies in Aubervilliers, France, publishes mortality figures for 38 countries on a weekly basis. As expected, the so-called “excess mortality”—the number of deaths in a population above a normal baseline—was consistently high throughout each country’s pandemic period. (There were a few exceptions like Australia and New Zea...
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The vaccines may well continue to ward off severe illness and death, although booster doses may be needed to protect most people. Still, the makers of the two most effective vaccines, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, are preparing to reformulate their shots if necessary.
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Last week I described some of the reasons for using a case formulation approach when working through initial assessment information, and today I’m going to describe one approach for organising a formulation. This is the “4 P” formulation, and it’s one that’s often used in mental health (Bolton, 2014). In the 4 P model, there are four questions to ask yourself: Preconditions – Why is this person vulnerable to this problem?Precipitating factors – Why now? This can mean “why is this person having symptoms now?” or “why is this person presenting to this person ...
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We find out how much protection Covid vaccines may offer amid speculation new variant could be more resistantCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe emergence of Omicron has prompted widespread speculation that it may be more resistant to Covid-19 vaccines than existing variants, including Delta. But what does that mean for the average double-vaccinated person?All the vaccines currently available in the UK work by training the immune system against the coronavirus spike protein – the key it uses to infect cells by binding to the ACE2 receptor. Omicron possesses more than 30 mutations in ...
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Should the Omicron variant cause severe illness, that will become apparent if there is a significant rise in hospitalizations over the next week or two, one expert said.
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