Hidden global pandemic effect: 1.5M+ children lose caregivers

Gabrielle Masson - Print  | 

For every two adult COVID-19 deaths, a child is left without a family caregiver, according to a CDC-led global assessment published July 20 in The Lancet. 

Researchers used mortality and fertility data to model minimum rates of COVID-19 deaths of primary or secondary caregivers for children under 18 years in 21 countries. To avoid overcounting, the count was adjusted for possible clustering of deaths using an estimated secondary attack rate and age-specific infection-fatality ratios.  

From March 1, 2020, to April 30, 2021, researchers estimate that 1,134,000 children worldwide experienced the death of a primary caregiver, including at least one parent or custodial grandparent. Overall, 1,562,000 children experienced the death of at least one primary or secondary caregiver.  

Accelerating equitable vaccine delivery is key to preventing more caregiver deaths, the authors concluded.


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