Sermo’s COVID-19 Real Time Barometer survey suggests children ages 5-12 are at highest risk, with fatigue as the main long-COVID symptom.
New York, NY – September 14, 2021 – Almost seventy-five percent of physicians have seen an increase in COVID cases among children, mostly due to the Delta variant, with 45% of physicians seeing the greatest increase among children aged 5-12 years, a new global survey of 1,528 physicians finds.
In Sermo’s most recent COVID-19 Real Time Barometer survey, most physicians reported that they have not seen long-COVID or long-haul cases among children, however, a substantial 26% did say they have seen pediatric long-haulers, with the most common symptom manifesting as fatigue (63%) followed by headaches (47%), cold-like symptoms (44%), respiratory (43%) and loss of sense of smell / taste (40%). Long-haulers are patients who experience persistent symptoms after the typical course of the disease.
Most doctors surveyed said that long-COVID symptoms last about 1-4 weeks (36%) or 5-6 weeks (21%). Sixty-five percent also reported that symptoms are milder and 34% said they do not linger as much in children as they do in adults, but nevertheless, 36% of physicians surveyed are somewhat concerned about the long-term health problems children may face.
The Need to Vaccinate Children
Sermo’s previous COVID-19 Real Time Barometer showed 65% of physicians believe that vaccinating children is essential for long-term control of COVID, but 55% of physicians also say their patients are more reluctant to vaccinate their children than themselves due to lack of long-term safety data and fear of adverse effects or allergic reactions.
Sermo’s latest COVID-19 Real Time Barometer showed 42% of physicians said 10% or less of their pediatric patients were vaccinated and still caught COVID. Close to 50% of physicians said that in their experience, it’s too soon to tell if having had COVID offers any immunity to the Delta variant.
“While there is mounting pressure from organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics for the FDA to consider authorizing emergency use of COVID-19 vaccines in children under 12, the most at-risk group,” said Peter Kirk, CEO Sermo, “our survey also indicates getting children vaccinated is the next barrier for long-term control of COVID. Our survey reveals parents are more reluctant to vaccinate their children than themselves. With the Delta variant causing devastation, and another new worrying variant Mu on the horizon, the need to educate parents about children’s vaccinations is greater than ever.”
About the COVID-19 Real Time Barometer
The Real Time Barometer is an observational study of the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak as reported by physicians with firsthand experience treating COVID-19 patients. Each week, thousands of physicians provide insights on topics regarding the global health crisis. To date, Sermo has conducted over 80,000 interviews with doctors in 31 countries, including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Brazil, Russia, China, Japan, and Australia. Full results are available at sermo.com.
Sermo turns physician experience, expertise, and observations into actionable insights for the global healthcare community. Engaging with more than 1.3 million HCPs across 150 countries, the company provides physicians with a social platform and unique community that fosters impactful peer-to-peer collaboration & discussions about issues that are important to them and their patients. Sermo offers on demand access to physicians via a suite of proprietary technology to provide business intelligence that benefits pharmaceutical, healthcare partners, and the medical community at large. To learn more, visit www.sermo.com