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expert reaction to study looking at risk of COVID-19 hospital admission among children aged 5–17 years with poorly-controlled asthma in Scotland

A study published in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine looks at risk of COVID-19 hospital admission among children in Scotland aged 5 to `17 with asthma.

This Roundup accompanied an SMC Briefing.


Prof Russell Viner, Professor of Child and Adolescent Health, UCL, said:

“Asthma is the commonest chronic medical condition of childhood.  These data from a high quality Scottish study are reassuring that the risk of COVID-19 to children with asthma is low, although children with severe asthma are at considerably higher risk.

“We know that most hospital admissions for asthma in children are caused by many respiratory viruses.  Whilst COVID-19 infection also makes it more likely for children with asthma to be admitted to hospital, only 1.5% of children with asthma who were COVID-positive were admitted to hospital.

“These data are more reassuring in that they extended to the end of July 2021 and therefore include nearly 3 months of the delta variant.  Parents should be reassured that children with well-controlled asthma are at little additional risk from COVID-19 compared with other respiratory viruses known to worsen asthma.  Teenagers with poorly-controlled or severe asthma should take precautions including having two vaccine doses.  If and when vaccines are available for 5-11 year olds, younger children with severe asthma should then be a priority for vaccination.”



‘Risk of COVID-19 hospital admission among children aged 5–17 years with asthma in Scotland: a national incident cohort study’ by Ting Shi et al. was published in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine at 23:30 UK time on Tuesday 30 November 2021.

DOI: 10.1016/S2213-2600(21)00491-4



All our previous output on this subject can be seen at this weblink:



Declared interests

Prof Russell Viner: “No conflicts.  Member of the Science Media Centre’s Advisory Committee.”

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