None of the affected children in the UK had been vaccinated because they were too young to be eligible.

None of the affected children in the UK had been vaccinated because they were too young to be eligible.

Child hepatitis cases falsely linked to Covid vaccine

Social media posts have wrongly linked the recent rise in unexplained hepatitis in children to the Covid vaccine.

Health agencies monitoring the situation say most of the children affected were under the age of five and therefore could not receive an injection.

But that hasn't stopped the allegations - and other theories about closing or returning children to school - from being presented as fact.

  • Rise in childhood hepatitis - what we know so far

As of April 21, 2022, the World Health Organization has recorded at least 169 cases of unexplained hepatitis - hepatitis - in children in 11 countries since January. Of these, 114 were in the UK.

None of the five specific viruses (labeled A-E) that commonly cause hepatitis were found, but the majority of youngsters tested positive for a specific adenovirus - a common family of infections responsible for illnesses ranging from the common cold to infections eyepieces.

The specific type they had is causing stomach problems.

Increase in childhood hepatitis - what we know so far
Dr. Mira Chand, director of clinical and emerging infections at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said their investigations "increasingly" suggested the rise was linked to adenovirus infection.

"However, we are meticulously investigating other possible causes," she said.

Vaccine 'definitively' ruled out

A "permanent" vaccine is excluded
The UKHSA say the Covid vaccine is the only thing they can rule out outright - as none of the children affected have received an injection.

However, the BBC has found false claims on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook and Telegram that these cases of hepatitis were caused by the Covid vaccine.
A post on Reddit highlighted the fact that adenovirus has been used in AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccines.

Adenoviruses used in vaccines are harmless vectors that have been modified so that they cannot reproduce or cause infection.

Not only are these adenoviruses very different from those found in infected children, but the use of these vaccines is heavily restricted in people over 40 in the UK.

The average age of children who contract hepatitis is three - an age group that is not eligible for any Covid vaccines in the UK, where most cases have been recorded.

A post from a website known to contain false and misleading information about Covid, claiming a Pfizer vaccine as the cause, was shared on Facebook in English, Spanish, Italian, Chinese and Norwegian.

He cites a very misinterpreted study that has also been used to make misleading claims about vaccines and fertility.
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