Currently, there is insufficient scientific data to determine the COVID-19 survival rate in children.
On December 16, 2020, Emma Jimenez, a conservative blogger, also known as "The Conservative Latina" on Facebook, claimed that children and young adults under the age of 19 had a 99.99 percent survival rate from COVID-19. In addition, she falsely claimed that this estimation came from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Jimenez took the figures from the CDC website; however, she failed to mention that the data was a part of the 'COVID-19 Pandemic Planning Scenario', thereby misleading the public. Moreover, she did not disclose that, next to the published figures, the CDC has written a disclaimer warning the public that the numbers are "not predictions or estimates of the expected impact of COVID-19."
Speaking to PolitiFact, Jasmine Reed, CDC's spokesperson, explained that the public health agency had not published the COVID-19 survival rates for any age group. In addition, she said that the CDC did not have "the data to calculate survivability for COVID-19." The fact-checking organization also reported that Facebook flagged Jimenez's post as false news under its COVID-19 misinformation policy.
Current evidence suggests that youngsters aged below 19 appear to be less affected by COVID-19 than adults. For instance, according to the CDC, COVID-19-positive children and adolescents are more likely to be asymptomatic or experience mild symptoms. However, presently no public health agency, including the World Health Organization, has published any data on the survival rate from COVID-19 for any age group.
A recent study in medRxiv found a large number of children experiencing long covid and requiring ongoing support. Therefore, we know that COVID-19 can have a dire impact on young adults and children.
Although Jimenez took the figures from the official CDC website, she failed to mention that the data did not estimate the COVID-19 survival rate for any age group. Therefore, the claim is misleading.
According to Reuters, countries like Germany, France, Sweden, and Italy will start immunizing children against COVID-19. Meanwhile, the U.S. has already begun vaccinating children over 12. As of June 28, 2021, more than 2 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.