Brazil has recorded an average of two daily deaths from Covid-19 among children under five, an age group that is not yet eligible for vaccination in the country and that has been filling pediatric hospitals. In 2020 and 2021, there were 1,439 deaths, with 48% of babies between 29 days and an incomplete year (post-neonatal), an average of 1.9 per day. In 2022, there are at least 291 more deaths under the age of five as of June 11, an average of 1.8 per day. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the United States, which is already immunizing this age group, has recorded 442 deaths among children under the age of five due to Covid, that is, almost a third (30.7%) of the total number of Brazilian deaths. The US has 3.6 million births a year, while Brazil has about 2.6 million.
The unprecedented analysis comes from Observa Infância, a project linked to the Institute of Communication and Scientific and Technological Information in Health (Icict/Fiocruz). The 2020 and 2021 numbers come from the Mortality Information System (SIM) and the Ministry of Health, and the state health secretariats have already reviewed them.
Although the number of deaths of children up to five years old represents only 0.22% of the total deaths by Covid until December 2021 (668,074) in Brazil, the researcher of Observa Infância Cristiano Boccolini, the study's lead author, says that the amount does not it is insignificant. "Almost 1,500 families have lost their babies and children. It's a tragedy."
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon