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COVID-19 and kids - what you need to know

Posted at 3:50 PM, Jun 10, 2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 12 years and older should get a COVID-19 vaccination to help protect against the disease.

Here in Utah, 77,829 children, or 1 in 20 in the population, have been diagnosed with COVID-19. About 8 out of 1,000 kids with COVID-19 have been hospitalized.

Doctors at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital are also seeing young patients with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C – a severe complication from COVID-19.

MIS-C involves inflammation of at least two organ systems, such as heart, lung, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal systems.

Across the country about 1 in 1,000 kids with COVID-19 have had MIS-C. Utah doctors have seen 74 cases of MIS-C in our state.

Almost 30% of the Utah population is made up of children less than 18 years old. That’s why doctors are encouraging kids ages 12-17 to get vaccinated.

Why should children get vaccinated? What are the advantages?
1. They won’t need to quarantine if exposed to someone who has COVID (which can happen during school or with sports).
2. They won’t have to wear a mask around other vaccinated people.
3. They greatly reduce the risk of serious illness and complications related to COVID-19, including MIS-C.

Since January – 99.5% of all COVID cases have been in unvaccinated people. For every 1,000 people who get sick – 995 of them haven’t had a vaccine. So, largely it’s the unvaccinated people who are getting COVID-19 and spreading COVID-19.

Where can my kids get the COVID vaccine?
Pfizer is the only brand approved for children ages 12 and up so make sure to check that is the vaccine being given at the location you are going.

Parents can check for appointments on local health department websites – if it says it’s a 12+ site, then they’re offering the Pfizer vaccine.

Parents can also go to intermountainhealthcare.org to schedule a vaccine appointment at an Intermountain community pharmacy. Most of Intermountain’s 26 pharmacies are now providing the Pfizer vaccine for kids.

Parents can also call their pediatric provider to find out where vaccines for children are being offered.