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Asthma incidence lower in children who received COVID vaccine


According to a newly published cross-sectional study, children who received the COVID-19 vaccine exhibited a decrease in the prevalence of parent-reported asthma symptoms. This study also adds to the body of evidence supporting the COVID vaccine’s benefits for children.

As usual, I will review the new study and summarize its results.

a doctor giving medication to a girl through a nebulizer covid vaccine asthma
Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

Asthma and COVID vaccine paper

In a paper published on 1 July 2024 in JAMA Network Open, Matthew M. Davis, MD, MAPP, of Nemours Children’s Health in Wilmington, Delaware, and Lakshmi K. Halasyamani, MD, of the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, used state-level data on parent-reported current asthma symptom prevalence in their children from the National Survey of Children’s Health for 2018-2019 and 2020-2021; CDC data on age-adjusted COVID mortality rates in 2020 and 2021 and on the proportion of children ages 5 years and older who completed their primary vaccination series in 2020-2021; and data on face mask requirements for enclosed spaces through August 2021 from 20 states and the District of Columbia.

Here are the key results from the study:

  • A linear regression analysis showed that with each increase of 10 percentage points in COVID vaccination coverage, parent-reported child asthma symptom incidence decreased by 0.36 percentage points.
  • The mean state-level prevalence of parent-reported childhood asthma symptoms had a statistically significant decrease from 7.77% in 2018-2019 to 6.93% in 2020-2021. This was correlated to increased COVID vaccinations.

The authors concluded:

COVID-19 vaccination yields prophylactic benefits against SARS-CoV-2 infection for individual children and may also protect against other human coronaviruses through cross-reactive antibody responses. Community-level immunity in states with higher vaccination rates may have helped reduce children’s asthma risk.

Summary

From my perspective, this study shows two things. First, it shows asthma symptoms are not linked to the COVID vaccine. Second, it shows that the COVID vaccine actually might reduce asthma symptoms because it might prevent other coronaviruses that could cause those symptoms.

This is more evidence that the COVID vaccine has important benefits to children, especially those that may have other conditions like asthma.

Citations

Michael Simpson
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