The Scientific American looks at a few intriguing highlights. 

Children under 12 are now being tested by Pfizer with its COVID-19 vaccine. 

Moderna has also started COVID-19 vaccine studies in children under 12. 

Both companies have been testing their vaccines in children 12 and older and expect those results to be available in the next few weeks. 

It is suggested that children as young as 6 months are being included in the study and there is a scenario in which children aged 12 to 15 could be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the autumn in the United States. 

In younger children, however, any FDA authorisation will probably not come until earlier next year 2022.  

In the Pfizer tests in children 6 months to 12 years, it would appear that researchers are focusing on antibody levels as an indicator of protection rather than disease symptoms. 

Long COVID  

A study of 100 patients with long COVID in 21 US States has revealed that 85% of these people experienced four or more neurological issues months after their initial infections. 

The reported symptoms have included headaches 68%, tingling 60%, muscle pains 55%, trouble with the sense of smell 55%, brain fog 81%, dizziness, blurred vision and ringing ears. 

The study published in the annals of clinical and translational neurology on 23rd March 2021 suggested that none of the study participants were sick enough to be hospitalised. 

This finding underscores the fact that there is an understanding that for many people, long COVID can be worse than their initial bout with the infection.

Interestingly enough, in another study, which was presented as a preprint, a third of people with long COVID symptoms felt fine in the first 10 days after testing positive for SARS-CoV-2. 

 It is therefore considered that symptoms could be caused by an inflammatory reaction to the virus which then affects the brain and the whole body. 

The London General Practice has developed a multidisciplinary team approach to the management of long COVID and encourages anyone with symptoms to consult in order that they can be evaluated and helped with appropriate investigations and therapies.

Dr Paul Ettlinger
BM, DRCOG, FRCGP, FRIPH, DOccMed

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