Immunocompromised children and young people are at no increased risk of severe COVID-19

J Infect. 2022 Jan;84(1):31-39. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2021.11.005. Epub 2021 Nov 14.


Objectives: We aimed to prospectively describe the incidence and clinical spectrum of SARS-CoV-2 infection in immunocompromised paediatric patients in the UK.

Methods: From March 2020 to 2021 weekly questionnaires were sent to immunocompromised paediatric patients or their parents. Information, including symptom presentation and SARS-CoV-2 PCR test results, was collected from 1527 participants from 46 hospitals. Cross-sectional serology was investigated in February and March 2021.

Results: Until the end of September 2020, no cases were reported. From September 28th 2020 to March 2021 a total of 38 PCR-detected SARS-CoV-2 infections were reported. Of these, four children were admitted to hospital but none had acute severe COVID-19. Increasing age in association with immunodeficiency increased reporting of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Worsening of fever, cough, and sore throat were associated with participants reporting SARS-CoV-2 infection. Serology data included 452 unvaccinated participants. In those reporting prior positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR, there were detectable antibodies in 9 of 18 (50%). In those with no prior report of infection, antibodies were detected in 32 of 434 (7•4%).

Conclusions: This study shows SARS-CoV-2 infections have occurred in immunocompromised children and young people with no increased risk of severe disease. No children died.

Keywords: COVID-19; Children; Immunocompromised; SARS-CoV-2.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • COVID-19*
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • SARS-CoV-2