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Characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 Infections in Israeli Children During the Circulation of Different SARS-CoV-2 Variants

Educational Objective
To identify the key insights or developments described in this article
1 Credit CME

Since December 2020, the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 variant has been spreading in Israel, and by January or February 2021 it quickly became the predominant circulating strain, isolated in more than 80% of cases.1 Concomitantly, a mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign was launched in Israel.

The aim of this study was to compare the characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 spread in children, aged 0 to 9 years, in 2 periods when different SARS-CoV-2 variants were circulating: August to October 2020, when former SARS-CoV-2 variants (mostly GH and GR clades)2 circulated, and December 2020 to February 2021 since the introduction of the B.1.1.7 variant in Israel.

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CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.

Article Information

Accepted for Publication: July 6, 2021.

Published: September 7, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.24343

Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License. © 2021 Somekh I et al. JAMA Network Open.

Corresponding Author: Eli Somekh, MD, Mayanei Hayeshuah Medical Center, 17 Povarski St, Bnei Brak, Israel (esomekh@gmail.com).

Author Contributions: Drs I. Somekh and E. Somekh had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. Drs Simões and E. Somekh contributed equally.

Concept and design: I. Somekh, Simões, E. Somekh.

Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: I. Somekh, Stein, Karakis, Simões, E. Somekh.

Drafting of the manuscript: I. Somekh, Simões, E. Somekh.

Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: I. Somekh, Stein, Karakis, Simões.

Statistical analysis: I. Somekh, Simões, E. Somekh.

Administrative, technical, or material support: Stein, E. Somekh.

Supervision: Stein, Simões, E. Somekh.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Simões reported grants, personal fees, and travel from Astra Zeneca Inc, Merck & Co, Regeneron Inc, and Pfizer Inc; personal fees, travel, and fees for being on the Data and Safety Monitoring Committee from Abbvie Inc; personal fees from Alere Inc; grants, personal fees, and travel from Roche Inc; fees for being on the Data and Safety Monitoring Committee from GSK Inc; grants from Johnson and Johnson; and grants and travel from Novavax Inc outside the submitted work. No other disclosures were reported.

Additional Contributions: We thank Sabi Halevy, BA, Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel and Ben-Gurion University, Israel, for the statistical analysis. Statistician costs were covered by Schneider Children’s Medical Center and by Tel Aviv University, Israel.

References
1.
State of Israel Ministry of Health. Corona virus national information center. Accessed June 25, 2021. https://www.gov.il/he/departments/corona-national-information-and-knowledge-center
2.
Miller  D , Martin  MA , Harel  N ,  et al.  Full genome viral sequences inform patterns of SARS-CoV-2 spread into and within Israel.   Nat Commun. 2020;11(1):5518. doi:10.1038/s41467-020-19248-0PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
3.
State of Israel Ministry of Health. COVID-19 reservoir. Accessed June 25, 2021. https://data.gov.il/dataset/covid-19
4.
Somekh  I , Boker  LK , Shohat  T , Pettoello-Mantovani  M , Simões  EAF , Somekh  E .  Comparison of COVID-19 incidence rates before and after school reopening in Israel.   JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(4):e217105. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.7105PubMedGoogle Scholar
5.
Frampton  D , Rampling  T , Cross  A ,  et al.  Genomic characteristics and clinical effect of the emergent SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 lineage in London, UK: a whole-genome sequencing and hospital-based cohort study.   Lancet Infect Dis. 2021;S1473-3099(21)00170-5. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(21)00170-5PubMedGoogle Scholar
6.
Galloway  SE , Paul  P , MacCannell  DR ,  et al.  Emergence of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 lineage—United States, December 29, 2020-January 12, 2021.   MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021;70(3):95-99. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm7003e2PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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