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Poorly controlled asthma 'increases Covid risk for children'

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Children with poorly controlled asthma are up to six times more likely to be admitted to hospital with Covid than those without the condition, research has suggested.

Scientists involved in the study said 5 to 17-year-olds in this category should be considered a priority for Covid vaccination. About 9,000 children in Scotland would benefit from the jab, researchers said.

Vaccines are offered to the over-12s in Scotland, but not to younger children.

In the study, poorly controlled asthma was defined as a prior hospital admission for the condition, or being prescribed at least two courses of oral steroids in the last two years.

Prof Aziz Sheikh, director of the University of Edinburgh's Usher Institute and Eave II study lead, said: "Our national analysis has found that children with poorly controlled asthma are at much higher risk of Covid-19 hospitalisation.

"Children with poorly controlled asthma should therefore be considered a priority for COVID-19 vaccination alongside other high-risk children."

Prof Sheikh said it was important to consider both the "risks and benefits" from vaccinations.

He added: "Emerging evidence from children aged five and older suggests that COVID-19 vaccines are overall well-tolerated by the vast majority of children."

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Source: BBC News, 1 December 2021

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