Covid, the study in Europe: “The three most common variants increase the admissions of the youngest”. More than 23,000 cases analyzed in seven countries

Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate. And the conclusion of the study on the three most common variants in Europe at the moment: English, South African and Brazilian which increase, thanks to their transmissibility, the admissions of the youngest part of the population. The first data are published on Eurosurveillance, the online scientific journal of European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Ecdc). The research analyzed the diffusion of the English (B.1.1.7), South African (B.1.351) and Brazilian (P.1) variants in seven European countries, including Italy, in all age groups, from 0 -19 years to over 80. The fact that the variants increase hospitalizations, especially among young people, is one more reason, we read in the article, for “rapidly achieve high levels of vaccination coverage“.

The need for a systematic analysis of the weight that variants have on hospitalizations among young people had emerged following the observation of higher rates of infection in school-aged youth made in Britain, to the increase in hospitalizations in people under 60 seen in Germany and to the more numerous hospitalizations for the South African variant reported in Denmark. The research was conducted on more than 23,300 cases caused by variants, selected from the 3.2 million total registered in seven countries (Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg and Portugal) in the period between mid-September 2020 and mid-March 2021. Of the cases caused by the variants (23,343), nearly 20,000 (19,995) were due to the variants of concern, the Vocs (Variant og Concern).

In all the countries considered in the research, the English variant is the most widespread and has been identified in 3,730 children and young people between zero and 19 years, equal to 19.4% of cases, in 6,005 young adults between 20 and 39 years (31 , 3%) and in 6,151 adults aged 40 to 59 (32.0%). The numbers relating to the most advanced age groups are lower: 2,538 cases in those between 60 and 79 years (13.2% and 783 in the over 80s (4.1%). The risk of hospitalization appears to be three times higher in the 20-39 age group and 2.3 times higher in the 40-59 age group, while ICU admissions were comparable.

For the other two variants the numbers are much lower, with different percentages in different age groups. The South African, for example, is more common in the age groups 20-29 years (147 cases, 33.7%), and 40 and 59 years (139.31.9%), then in the 60-79 years ( 62, 14.2%), in the very young between zero and 19 years (60, 13.8%) and finally in the over 80 (28, 6.4%). With this variant, the risk of hospitalization is between 3.5 and 3.6 times greater for the age groups 40-59 years (in this group the chances of being admitted to intensive care are also increasing) and 60-79 years. The Brazilian variant was found above all in the 40-59 age group (107, 30.4%) and from zero to 19 years (79, 22.4%), followed by the 20-29 age group (66, 18 , 8%), 60-79 (58, 16.5% 9 and over 80 (42, 11.9%). In this case the risk of hospitalization increases between 3 and 13.1 times in the age groups 20- 39 years, 40-59 and 60-79: admissions to intensive care increased from 2.9 to 13.9 times in the groups 40-59 years, 60-79 years and in the over 80s).

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