No evidence that B.1.1.7 variant is more harmful to children

To be clear, there is yet to be any published data showing that the “new” B.1.1.7 variant is more harmful to children. If you’ve been given the impression otherwise, please note it down as simply another example of misrepresentation of evidence from so-called experts, and one more situation where journalists allow anecdotal evidence to rise above the scientific method.

Please note that the reopening of schools did lead to more children being tested and, as expected, more asymptomatic cases were discovered. Furthermore, if a child enters a hospital for any reason whatsoever, such as a broken bone, but then tests positive for Covid, that child is then considered as a Covid hospitalization even if no symptoms are present. I give credit to the Montreal Gazette for accurately reporting that the data on children could be confounded by this factor:

“Some children are hospitalized for non-COVID ailments, but test positive for the coronavirus while in hospital as part of standard screening. Since they are already in hospital, the positive test result counts as a COVID-19 hospitalization even though the child might be asymptomatic or shows mild symptoms of the respiratory illness.”

Dr. John Bradley, a US paediatrician pushing for children to return to school, said “there is nothing unique about B.1.1.7 in children that I have seen from any published data.” Another paediatrician, Dr. Daniel Ganjian, stated that “kids may be getting B.1.1.7, but that doesn’t mean they’re getting more sick from it”. And Dr. Juan Salazar, a pediatric infectious disease specialist, said the following in an April 6th interview with Yahoo Life: “This virus has impacted children since the pandemic started, but I haven’t seen increases in kids coming through the ICU because of B.1.1.7”.

In short, there is no published evidence that this variant is causing more children to suffer, yet the public is receiving a vastly different message.

We must therefore ask what is the goal of misrepresenting the data and providing a false alarm?

  • Is it to encourage people to become more prudent ?
  • Is it to get more attention when competing with other media outlets?
  • Is it to use fear to encourage vaccination?
  • Is it to justify the rushed vaccination of children even though the evidence is clear that they are virtually immune to this disease?
  • And finally, would the public be better served by more accurate headlines and communication from the experts commenting on this pandemic?

What do you think?

My latest video – Covid-19 Vaccines: The Misrepresentation of Science – highlights 3 reasons why the public is poorly informed, and provides an opportunity to raise the level of the conversation so that we can all do better.

Thank you.

Marc Jaoudé
Naturopath, Health Educator
Nutrition & Exercise Specialist

5 Responses

  1. The true cost of this pandemic is incalculable — in addition to the loss of lives, there’s also been the loss of livelihood. So many businesses being forced to close, enormous amounts of job losses, savings and retirement plans wiped out, housing evictions, medical care delayed or denied, the increase in domestic violence, the impact on mental health, food insecurity, and on and on. Then, of course, pour a few trillion dollars on top of it all.

    As always, I appreciate your calm and rational approach when sharing information. You’re the best.


    1. Thank you for your kind words Fletch.

      Yes, the consequences of these draconian measures are both severe and sadly predictable, as I wrote about back in April of last year. You would hope decisions that have the potential to destroy so many lives are based on evidence.

      Here in Quebec I’m not sure how people will respond to the extended lockdowns that were just announced- the situation completely blindsided business owners. And now the government is requiring people to wear masks even outdoors.

      Wishing you all the best during these challenging times.


  2. Yes, I definitely think the media is blurring the picture. I read in the Montreal Gazette on Wednesday, Aril 7 that “officials are trying to contain a ‘slow increase’ until vaccines, warm weather kick in”. Nowhere does it say that children and young adults are flooding the ICU’s or hospitals, but driving a “recent rise in cases” (which could be asymptomic or mild, we never know) More testing reveals more “cases”. We know that the hospitals are very worried about staff, with nurses leaving, and are considering training high school graduates to work in the operating rooms. That, to me, is scary!

    1. Lynda, yes, also sad to say, but the initial “wave” did eliminate a lot of vulnerable people early on, and that’s one more reason why there could appear to be a bigger proportion of younger versus older cases today. Not to get lost in the game of statistics and confounding factors, based on a preponderance of the evidence, younger people and those without underlying conditions still remain at very low risk for serious Covid. Very little has changed with the data, yet the press needs to keep it fresh, it seems. But at what cost?

      1. Yes, at a very great cost, especially to working parents with young children, kids and grandparents who can’t see each other, and also teenagers and young adults who are missing such an important part of their lives in building friendships and relationships.

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