Why should my young child get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Question: 

Why should my young child get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Answer: 
Vaccination helps keep children safe and is the best way to protect children from severe illness and hospitalization due to COVID-19. There has been an increase in hospital and ICU admissions in young children since Omicron became the most common variant. 
 
While most children who get COVID-19 have a minor illness, some children (including previously healthy children) can get very sick. The chance of getting very sick is higher for children who are not fully vaccinated or have certain medical conditions.
 
Children 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. 
  • While the evidence is limited in children younger than 5, COVID-19 infection may lead to post-COVID condition or "long COVID." This is where people feel sick for weeks or months after the initial illness.

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, Jul 26, 2022