Should your child receive the COVID-19 vaccination? The case to do so is not compelling, and the World Health Organization currently recommends that parents hold off on vaccinating their children with the COVID-19 vaccine. The United States CDC says otherwise. What should a parent do?
The Delta variant may change the scenario depending on data that is coming from Singapore, India, and the UK. The information suggests that the variant may be more contagious and have virulent properties in youth. Scientists and public health officials should follow the developments closely.
It’s important to continue the discussion about COVID-19 risks for children aged 0 to 12 years. At the same time, it is crucial to examine the data to date. Researchers at Johns Hopkins and FAIR studied pediatric COVID-19 deaths using data from health insurance companies. They found that 100% of COVID -19 deaths were in children with a pre-existing condition. Thus, parents of a child with comorbidity may want to consider the vaccine.
Since the risk of a healthy child dying of COVID-19 is so close to zero and exceedingly rare, parents are right to ask why they should vaccinate their healthy children.
The most important reason to vaccinate a healthy child may be to prevent multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), which can cause very painful, long-term problems. According to the CDC, 4,018 children in the US have developed MIS-C after COVID-19. The average age is 9 years old. 36 of those children died, and 62% of those children were minorities (Latino or black) likely due to the disproportionate rates of chronic conditions and childhood obesity in those populations. This supports the case for vaccinating children with medical conditions including obesity.
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