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Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

A new study suggests that the reason why children get less severe coronavirus infections than adults is because they have a different immune response, NYT reports.

What they're saying: "The bottom line is, yes, children do respond differently immunologically to this virus, and it seems to be protecting the kids," Betsy Herold, a pediatric infectious disease expert at Albert Einstein College of Medicine who led the study, told the Times.

  • The study was published in Science Translational Medicine.

Details: The body has what's called an innate immune response when it encounters an unfamiliar pathogen, and this response is quicker and stronger in children than adults. That's because they're frequently exposed to new pathogens.

  • Adults, on the other hand, have built up more specialized immune responses over time to specific threats, and the innate system fades over time.
  • Since the coronavirus is new to everyone, this gives children an advantage.

Yes, but: Like many other studies on the virus, this one enrolled patients too late in the infection to really understand the innate immune system's immediate response, some experts said.

What we're watching: Children may eventually develop defenses against the virus that keeps them from ever experiencing the same level of infection severity as today's adults, if the virus becomes endemic.

  • "We will eventually age out of this virus," Michael Mina, a pediatric immunologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Epidemiology, told NYT.

Go deeper

Jan 5, 2021 - World

Israel tightens COVID-19 lockdown restrictions

Despite launching one of the most successful vaccination campaigns in the world, Israel has had to counter a spike in new COVID cases in recent weeks. Photo: Jack Guez/AFP via Getty

Israel will impose new restrictions in its countrywide lockdown, closing schools and nonessential businesses beginning Friday to combat surging cases of the coronavirus, government ministers voted Tuesday.

The big picture: Israel’s COVID-19 cases, which dropped in October, have jumped to more than 5,000 reported daily in the new year, Johns Hopkins University data shows. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the public Tuesday to heed new restrictions as a faster-spreading variant of the virus first detected in the U.K. multiplies.

Updated 18 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: New coronavirus cases down, but more bad news ahead — Fighting COVID-19's effects on gender equality.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: NYC postpones vaccine appointments following shipment delays — Private companies step in to fill vaccine logistics vacuum.
  4. World: Biden will order U.S. to rejoin World Health OrganizationBiden to bring U.S. into global COVAX initiative for equitable vaccine access.

Rep. Kevin Brady tests positive for the coronavirus

Rep. Kevin Brady. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) announced Tuesday night that he's in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19.

Why it matters: He's the second House member this week to test positive for the coronavirus after having the first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine, following Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas). Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine and others require two doses to protect against the virus.

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