Children 5 Years and older now eligible for vaccine
Children and teens are catching and spreading COVID-19 at an increasingly high rate. Even if your child or teen has not yet contracted COVID-19, they are at risk, especially with the low number of vaccinated residents in certain states and the fact that children make up one out of five new COVID-19 cases nationwide.
Children and teens in particular are back in school, seeing friends, and doing activities such as music lessons and sports—which means the chances of them bringing COVID-19 home to you and the elders in your family are greater than they have been since the start of the pandemic.
If you want to worry less when your child gives grandma a hug or goes to visit auntie, here are some steps you can take to protect them and your entire family.
Get your child vaccinated now
The best way to protect your child from COVID-19 and all the potential complications — including spreading the disease to loved ones at home — is to get them vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. The COVID-19 vaccine is free, widely available, and highly effective in preventing hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Like most vaccines, some minor side effects may occur, such as a sore arm or slight fatigue, but the symptoms and long-term impact of contracting COVID-19 are much more serious. Ultimately, it is much safer for children and teens to get a COVID-19 vaccine than getting the disease itself, and being vaccinated reduces the risk of spreading the disease.
If your child is not eligible to be vaccinated, you can still keep them safe from COVID-19 by practicing recommended prevention methods such as physical distancing when possible and continuing to wear a mask, especially in crowds or while indoors. Even people who have been vaccinated should wear a mask in crowds and public indoor places. Most children can safely and effectively wear face masks, so it’s important to remind them that it keeps them and other people safe, and to set an example by wearing a mask too.
Encourage adults in your child’s life to get vaccinated
Ensuring that those who spend time around your child are vaccinated helps keep an unvaccinated child from getting sick or spreading COVID-19 to other vulnerable people. Talk to the adults in your child’s life—grandparents, friends’ parents, and teachers—about getting vaccinated to protect themselves and your child.
Children and teens are just as susceptible to COVID-19 as adults, and they can spread the virus to others who are at even greater risk, such as the elders in your family. A growing number of children and teens have been hospitalized with COVID-19. Getting all eligible children and teens vaccinated and following simple prevention measures will protect them, your families, and friends, and get us one step closer to getting this pandemic under control.
For more information and to find a vaccine, visit www.vaccines.gov.