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The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get the COVID-19 vaccine and that everyone 5 years of age and older get booster doses, when eligible. Use CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Information Tool to find out if and when your child or teen can get boosters to keep their COVID-19 vaccines up to date.
Why children and adolescents should be vaccinated against COVID-19
what you need to know
- Children and teens of any age can get very sick from COVID-19 and in some cases may need to be treated in a hospital. Some children and adolescents died from COVID-19.
- The benefit of COVID-19 vaccines, like other vaccines, is that vaccinated people get protection without risking potentially serious consequences if they get sick from COVID-19.
- Get children vaccinated against COVID-19 and help protect them from getting seriously ill, hospitalized, or dying.
Help protect your child
Vaccination against COVID-19 is an important tool to help protect everyone 6 months of age and older from COVID-19 and its complications.
Getting children and teens vaccinated against COVID-19 can help prevent them from getting seriously ill if they do get COVID-19. Vaccinating children can also help families relax as children can go to school and participate in child care programs and other activities with greater confidence.
The impact of COVID-19 on children and adolescents
Like adults, children and teens of all ages can:
- Getting seriously ill from COVID-19
- Have short-term and long-term health problems
- Spreading COVID-19 to other people
There is no way to know in advance how COVID-19 will affect children and teens. Those who have underlying medical and other conditions or have a weakened immune system are more likely to become seriously ill from COVID-19. Some examples of conditions that can make children more likely to get seriously ill from COVID-19 include:
- Asthma or chronic lung diseases
- sickle cell disease
However, those without underlying medical conditions and other conditions can also become seriously ill and be hospitalized. In fact, about 1 in 3 children under the age of 18 hospitalized for COVID-19 have no underlying medical conditions.
Vaccination helps prevent multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19
Children and adolescents who become infected with COVID-19 can experience serious complications such as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). The MIS-C It is a condition that causes inflammation of different parts of the body, such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or organs of the gastrointestinal system.
Since the start of the pandemic, thousands of cases of MIS -C have been reported. Children 5 to 11 years of age tend to be the most affected by MIS-C, with nearly half of reported cases occurring in children of this age. age group. Additionally, Hispanic/Latino children and non-Hispanic black children are disproportionately affected by MIS-C.
Children and teens may have ongoing health problems after COVID-19
After a COVID-19 infection, children and adolescents may also experience a wide variety of new, recurring, or ongoing health problems. They include physical and mental health complications that can occur four weeks or more after the initial infection. These complications can arise after a mild or severe case of COVID-19, or after MIS-C.
The symptoms that children and adolescents may experience after COVID-19 are similar to those seen in adults and include:
- Muscle and joint pain
- Trouble falling asleep and sleeping
- Difficult to focus
Post-COVID-19 symptoms can affect quality of life, such as:
- Limitations in physical activity
- Feeling distressed by the symptoms
- mental health difficulties
- Absenteeism from school or day care
- Lack of participation in sports, games, and other activities