Why should my child or youth get vaccinated against COVID-19? Doesn’t it usually cause mild illness in children and youth?
While most children and youth who get COVID-19 have a minor illness, some (including those that are previously healthy) can get very sick. The chance of getting very sick is higher for children and youth who are not fully vaccinated or have certain medical conditions.
Children and youth who get COVID-19:
- Can get a severe lung infection and heart issues like myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle).
- Are at risk of developing a serious but rare condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). MIS-C is caused by an exaggerated immune response, leading to severe widespread inflammation. It can happen several weeks after infection and usually requires hospitalization. Most children in Canada who have had this condition have fully recovered with treatment.
- May feel sick for weeks or months after the initial illness. This is called Post-COVID-19 condition or "long COVID."
Vaccinating children can also help protect others, including family members and those most at risk. Vaccination can also make it less likely that children will miss out on important activities, like daycare, preschool, sports, and social events.
Date last reviewed:
Tuesday, Feb 14, 2023