Researchers found that mask mandates in Spain are not at all connected to a lower rate of Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) transmissions.

For the study, they compared the incidence of COVID-19 in older children to younger children to know if mask mandates were effective in reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in schools.

Results showed that there was a much lower case rate in preschool, where there were no mask mandates, compared to older groups who were required to wear masks at school. There was an incidence of 3.1 percent in kids aged five, with a slight increase in six-year-olds who had an incidence of 3.5 percent.

The paper was published as a preprint and the researchers reported that mask mandates in schools “were not associated with lower SARS-CoV-2 incidence or transmission.”

In an email to the Epoch Times, Clara Prats, one of the authors, explained that there wasn’t a noticeable decrease in transmission on the children that wore masks (kids aged six to 11) when compared to those who didn’t wear face masks (children aged three to five).

The researchers have examined available data from Sept. 13 to Dec. 22, 2021. They noted that “age-dependency” was the most crucial factor for the risk of virus transmission in schools. This means that the older the children get, the more likely they are to have an adult-like immune response.

Why is this important?

Earlier studies have shown that adults are more likely than children to contract symptomatic cases of coronavirus. Additionally, the researchers found that since young children are likely to get infected with other coronaviruses, they would have more cross-reactive T cells, a type of cell that protects against coronavirus.

Antoni Soriano-Arandes, another study author, concluded that age-gradient in SARS-CoV-2 transmission is the key to understanding the study results, particularly since this is mainly related to the “strong/robust innate immune response at mucosa respiratory cells that younger children have when compared to older kids or adults.”

Masks are useless, mask mandates are meaningless

The Spanish study, which was funded by the Spanish government and other institutions, adds to a growing body of data suggesting that masks and mask mandates are meaningless in a larger effort to reduce COVID-19 transmissions. 

The researchers did acknowledge several limitations of the research, like not being able to count all asymptomatic cases, which are more likely among younger children.

Dr. Jonathan Darrow, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School who analyzed mask studies in 2021, said the Spanish study “fails to provide good evidence that masks substantially reduce transmission.” He added that if face masks do reduce transmission, they don’t reduce it by very much.

He concluded that it’s possible face masks might be more effective in other contexts – like if people wore better masks, touched their faces less, replaced masks more frequently or if there was better compliance. However, this doesn’t mean governments should force citizens to wear masks under the guise of concern for public safety.

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