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March 2023, Volume 73, Issue 3

Student's Corner

Beating Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Newborns, Infants and Toddlers

Tasmiyah Siddiqui  ( 2nd Year MBBS Student, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan. )
Payal Rani Doultani  ( 2nd Year MBBS Student, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan )
Tayyaba  ( 2nd Year MBBS Student, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan )

DOI: 10.47391/JPMA.7581


Madam, Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19), a pandemic, has been a global concern and it is a highly contagious respiratory illness that has been fatal to around 6 million lives. Although everyone is prone to get infected by COVID-19, the fact that is often overlooked is that newborns, infants and toddlers are as likely to get COVID-19 as adults.

Babies younger than one year old might have a higher chance to get COVID-19 than older children.1 According to a case report by Alzamora et al. mother infected with COVID-19 can also, in sporadic  cases, pass the disease to her baby.2 Infants are also at risk of getting infected shortly after birth, reason being exposure to sick caregivers.  Most newborn, infants and toddlers who fall prey to COVID-19 have mild or no symptoms engendering many new cases, but serious cases have also occurred leading to hospitalization. Hospitalization is associated more with the omicron variant than the delta variant. According to Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) by the Centrs for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hospitalization of U.S. infants and children aged 0-4 years was five times more during omicron predominance than during delta surge.3

To overcome such cases, CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccine and backs Pfizer’s and Moderna’s COVID-19 shots for children aged six month to five years.4 These vaccines can prevent complications like Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome and Long COVID, which can be debilitating for young children. Vaccination can also protect children, which in turn minimize the possibility of transmission of disease to others. Furthermore, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also expanded the approval of the COVID-19 treatment Velkury (Remdesivir) to include paediatric patients 28 days of age and older weighing at least 3 kilograms with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing.5

With COVID-19 rearing its head again in Pakistan, vaccination of vulnerable populations like newborns, infants and toddlers must be an urgent step to stem the spread of virus because tomorrow may be too late. Besides, Remdesivir, which was previously approved for certain adults, can now be put to good use for treating infants as young as 28 days old so that progression in hospitalization and critical illness in paediatric patients of Pakistan be cut down.


Submission completion date: 08-08-2022


Acceptance date: 06-10-2022


Disclaimer: None to declare.


Conflict of Interest: None to declare.


Funding Sources: None to declare.




1.      COVID-19 in babies and children - Mayo Clinic [Online] [Cited 2022 May 28]. Available from: URL:

2.      Alzamora MC, Paredes T, Caceres D, Webb CM, Webb CM, Valdez LM, et al. Severe COVID-19 during Pregnancy and Possible Vertical Transmission. Am J Perinatol. 2020; 37:861.

3.      Marks KJ, Whitaker M, Agathis NT, Anglin O, Milucky J, Patel K, et al. Hospitalization of Infants and Children Aged 0–4 Years with Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 — COVID-NET, 14 States, March 2020–February 2022. [Online] [Cited 2022 July 11]. Available from: URL:

4.      Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Authorizes Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccines for Children Down to 6 Months of Age | FDA [Online] [Cited 2022 June 03]. Available from: URL:

5.      Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Approves First COVID-19 Treatment for Young Children | FDA [Online] [Cited 2022 July 13]. Available from: URL:

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