This paper, published in Nature Medicine and based on National Child Mortality Database data, shows that in the first year of the pandemic, 25 children and young people in England died of Covid-19.

In the first year of the pandemic, between March 2020 and February 2021, 61 children died after testing positive for Covid-19. This study, however, uses the NCMD’s comprehensive and timely data to show that in 40% (25) of these cases Covid-19 contributed to the child’s death, giving an overall child mortality rate of 2 per million (0.0002%) across the whole population.

The findings emphasise the importance of underlying comorbidities as the main risk factor for death in children and young people, as 76% had chronic health conditions, 64% had multiple comorbidities, and 60% had life-limiting conditions.

This is the first publication in a series of papers highlighting work led by researchers at the University of Bristol, University College London, University of York and the University of Liverpool and drawing on the NCMD’s unique data.

Before being accepted by Nature Medicine, a pre-print version of this paper was also cited as evidence by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation contributing to their guidance on Covid-19 vaccination in children aged 12 to 15 years.