More than 30,000 UK children are battling Long Covid with experts fearing push to vaccinate young has come too late

MORE than 30,000 children have long Covid symptoms, new data suggests.

It comes as experts criticised the government's "unnecessary delay” in the rollout of vaccines to 1.4 million 16 and 17 year olds before schools return in September.

The most recent Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures show 34,000 youngsters under 16 years old with long Covid symptoms, which include tiredness or shortness of breath.

Altogether, there were 11,000 two to 11-year-olds and 23,000 12- to 16-year-olds said to be affected with symptoms.

Of those, around 27,000 first had, or were suspected to have had, Covid at least 12 weeks previously.

There were an estimated 945,000 people in total across all age groups who reported lingering Covid symptoms.

LONG COVID STUDY

The data is taken from the four weeks up to July 4, with symptoms self-reported.

Study participants were asked: "Would you describe yourself as having 'long COVID',  that is, you are still experiencing symptoms more than 4 weeks after you first had COVID-19, that are not explained by something else?"

Another study this week suggested children who catch coronavirus rarely experience long-term problems.

The study of 1,734 children who tested positive between September,2020 and February 2021, found less than one in 20 experiencing symptoms for four weeks or more.

Most children were found to have recovered within four weeks.

The study, led by researchers at King’s College London, found illness lasted no more than a week on average in youngsters aged between five and 17.

This week, it was announced that teenagers aged 16 and 17 won't need their parents' permission to get a Covid vaccine.

Jabs will now be rolled out to younger age groups in the latest plans outlined by the government.

But some experts fear schoolchildren will not receive their first jab before returning to classrooms on September.

Deepti Gurdasani, an epidemiologist at Queen Mary University London, said: "We could have had all of this age group [16- and 17-year-olds] vaccinated before September."

We could have had all of this age group [16- and 17-year-olds] vaccinated before September

Dr Camilla Kingdon, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said vaccine appointment bookings in England were still not accepted for anyone under 18.

It was suggested yesterday that youngsters could get cash if they sign up to get vaccinated.

The vaccines plan for 16 and 17-year-olds comes amid fears of a fresh wave of Covid cases when kids go back to school and the weather gets worse.

The NHS will now start preparations to jab around 1.4 million kids across the country and children won't need the consent of their parents.

It's expected that the rollout will be in the next few weeks.

At present only kids aged between 12-15 with serious health issues such as neurodisabilities are able to get the jab.

Other conditions that make kids eligible include Down syndrome, immunosuppression or profound and multiple or severe learning disabilities.

The full list of long Covid symptoms

The list reads from highest prevalence to lowest, including “overall

  1. Fatigue
  2. Sensorimotor symptoms, overall
  3. Post-Exertional Malaise
  4. Cognitive dysfunction symptoms, overall
  5. Brain fog
  6. Sleep symptoms, overall
  7. Shortness of breath
  8. Headaches, overall
  9. Poor attention or concentration
  10. Tightness of chest
  11. Memory symptoms, overall
  12. Muscle aches
  13. Insomnia
  14. Heart palpitations
  15. Dizziness/vertigo/unsteadiness or balance issues
  16. Dry cough
  17. Difficulty thinking
  18. Short-term memory loss (memory that lasts 30 seconds, i.e. remembering a phone number before writing it down, or forgetting you’re in the middle of a task)
  19. Tachycardia
  20. Episodes of breathing difficulty/gasping for air with normal oxygen saturation
  21. Diarrhoea
  22. Sore Throat
  23. Elevated temperature (98.8-100.4 F)
  24. Anxiety
  25. Smell and taste symptoms, overall
  26. Difficulty with executive functioning (planning, organizing, figuring out the sequence of actions, abstracting)
  27. Chills/flushing/sweats
  28. Difficulty problem-solving or decision-making
  29. Pain/burning in chest
  30. Joint pain
  31. Loss of appetite
  32. Irritability
  33. Tingling/prickling/pins and needles sensation
  34. Speech and language symptoms, overall
  35. Nausea
  36. Waking up several times during the night
  37. Depression
  38. Skin sensations: burning, tingling, or itchiness without rash
  39. All reproductive
  40. Mood lability
  41. Difficulty finding the right words while speaking/writing
  42. Weakness
  43. Tearfulness
  44. Slowed thoughts
  45. Temperature lability
  46. Night sweats
  47. Tremors
  48. Headaches, behind the eyes
  49. Abdominal pain
  50. Difficulty falling asleep
  51. Apathy (lack of feeling, emotion, interest, or concern)
  52. Stiff neck
  53. Long-term memory loss (long-term memory can be anything from remembering yesterday, forgetting you’ve done a task, forgetting recently learned information, or forgetting your third-grade experience)
  54. All menstrual/period issues – with menstrual cycles
  55. Awakened by feeling like you couldn’t breathe
  56. Loss of smell
  57. Extreme thirst
  58. Blurred vision
  59. Numbness/loss of sensation
  60. Headaches, diffuse (entire brain)
  61. Lower esophagus burning / gastroesophageal reflux / acid reflux
  62. Sensitivity to noise
  63. Tinnitus
  64. Headaches, in the temples
  65. Vision symptoms, overall
  66. Sense of doom
  67. Loss of taste
  68. Coldness
  69. Vivid dreams
  70. Sensation of brain pressure
  71. Lump in throat/difficulty swallowing
  72. Muscle spasms
  73. Neuralgia (nerve pain)
  74. Itchy skin
  75. Sensitivity to light
  76. Feeling full quickly when eating
  77. Fever (>100.4 F)
  78. Runny nose
  79. Difficulty communicating verbally
  80. Vibrating sensations
  81. Changes to non-primary (second/third) language skills*
  82. Dry eyes
  83. Cough with mucus production
  84. Skin rashes
  85. Heat intolerance
  86. Changes in the voice
  87. Headaches, at the base of the skull
  88. Feeling like the world isn’t real (derealization) or Feeling like you aren’t real/like you’re observing yourself from outside your body (depersonalization)
  89. Low oxygen levels (<94%)*
  90. Abnormally irregular periods
  91. Eye pressure or pain
  92. Sneezing
  93. Ear pain
  94. Nightmares
  95. Electrical zaps/electrical shock sensation
  96. Altered sense of taste
  97. Waking up early in the morning
  98. Difficulty reading/processing written text
  99. Constipation
  100. Anger
  101. Bone ache or burning
  102. Itchy eyes
  103. Hyperactive bowel sensations
  104. Headaches/pain after mental exertion
  105. Difficulty processing/understanding what others say
  106. Migraines
  107. Phantom smells (imagining/hallucinating smells – smelling things that aren’t there)
  108. Difficulting speaking in complete sentences
  109. Changes to the ear canal (such as pressure, blockage, burning, swelling)
  110. Low temperature
  111. Changes in sensitivity to medication
  112. Abnormally high blood pressure
  113. Floaters
  114. Abnormally heavy periods/clotting
  115. Altered sense of smell
  116. Visibly inflamed/bulging veins
  117. Other menstrual issues
  118. Acute (sudden) confusion/disorientation
  119. Petechiae (tiny purple, red, or brown spots on the skin, usually on arms, legs, stomach, buttocks, and occasionally inside mouth or on eyelids)
  120. Restless leg syndrome
  121. Bradycardia (low heart rate, <60 beats per minute)
  122. Rattling of breath
  123. Difficulty communicating in writing
  124. Other sleeping issues symptoms
  125. Sexual dysfunction (nonbinary)
  126. Slurring words/speech
  127. Other temperature problems
  128. Hallucinations, overall
  129. Bloodshot eyes
  130. Lucid dreams (dreams where you are aware you are dreaming or have some control over what you dream about)
  131. Thoughts moving too quickly
  132. Urinary issues, other
  133. Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
  134. Sexual dysfunction (cis men)
  135. Vomiting
  136. Bladder control issues
  137. Other memory symptoms
  138. Seeing things in your peripheral vision
  139. COVID toes (discoloration, swelling, painful, or blistering toes)
  140. Peeling skin
  141. Headaches, other
  142. Fainting
  143. Numbness/weakness on one side of the body only
  144. Other ear/hearing issues
  145. Other eye issues
  146. Sensation of brain warmth/”on fire”
  147. Heightened reaction to old allergies
  148. Forgetting how to do routine tasks (tying your shoe laces, washing your hands)
  149. Impulsivity and disinhibition
  150. Abnormally low blood pressure
  151. Suicidality
  152. Pain in testicles (cis men)
  153. Visual (seeing) hallucinations
  154. Other skin and allergy symptoms
  155. Other
  156. Brittle/discolored nail
  157. New allergies (food, chemical, environmental, etc)
  158. Agnosia (failure to recognize or identify objects despite intact sensory functioning)
  159. Phantom taste (imagining/hallucinating tastes – tasting things when there’s nothing in your mouth)
  160. Speaking unrecognizable words
  161. Hearing loss
  162. Other cognitive functioning symptoms
  163. Heightened sense of smell
  164. New allergies (food, chemical, environmental, etc) (weeks/months)
  165. Redness on the outside of eyes
  166. Sensation of facial pressure/numbness, left side
  167. Sexual dysfunction (cis women)
  168. Dermatographia (writing on your skin causes red lines where you scratched)
  169. Aggression
  170. Inability to make new memories
  171. Sleep apnea
  172. Double vision
  173. Sensation of facial pressure/numbness, right side
  174. Inability to yawn
  175. Auditory (hearing) hallucinations
  176. Other speech/language Symptoms
  177. Other emotional changes symptoms
  178. Sensation of facial pressure/numbness, other area
  179. Coughing up blood
  180. Itchy, other
  181. Euphoria (a feeling or state of intense excitement and happiness)
  182. Other semen/penis/testicles issues (cis men)
  183. Inability to cry
  184. Numbness/loss of sensation in/near the ear
  185. All menstrual/period issues – post-menopausal and no/other menstrual cycles
  186. Post-menopausal bleeding/spotting (cis women over 49)
  187. High blood sugar (if measured)
  188. New/unexpected anaphylaxis reaction
  189. Blood clots (Thrombosis)
  190. Hypomania (a milder form of mania)
  191. Facial paralysis
  192. Tunnel vision
  193. Decrease in size of testicles/penis (cis men)
  194. Pain in testicles (nonbinary)
  195. Tactile (touch) hallucinations
  196. Early menopause (cis women in 40s)
  197. Delusions
  198. Shingles
  199. Seizures (suspected)
  200. Heightened sense of taste
  201. Mania (abnormally elevated/excited mood, decreased need for sleep, occasionally with delusions)
  202. Hallucinations, other
  203. Low blood sugar (if measured)
  204. Decrease in size of testicles/penis (nonbinary)
  205. Other semen/penis/testicles issues (nonbinary)
  206. Post-menopausal bleeding/spotting (cis women in 40s)
  207. Total loss of vision
  208. Seizures (confirmed)
  209. Early menopause (cis women under 40)

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