COVID-19 is not a benign disease and requires people to be vigilant, safe, and responsible. It has had a significant impact on children’s health as outlined below:

COVID-19's Impact

  • COVID-19 ranked 8th among all causes of deaths among children and young people aged 0 to 19 years in the U.S between August 1, 2021, and July 31, 2022.
  • Black, Latino, and Native American families experienced higher rates of COVID-19 infections than White children. A 2023 report found that more than 200,000 children have lost a parent or caregiver to COVID-19 nationwide; 65% (of this 200,000) were children from Black, Latino, or Native American families.
  • Children with multiple comorbidities are at increased risk for severe outcomes after COVID-19 infection while the overall risk for severe COVID-19 among children remained low throughout the first two years of the pandemic.
  • In 2020, more than two thirds of COVID-19 fatalities in the U.S. occurred in households earning below median income.
  • Nearly 9,500 patients met the case definition for multi-system inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) in children; there were 79 deaths among these patients.
  • Children with poorly controlled asthma are 3 to 6 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than those without the condition.
  • Long COVID was seen in 16.2% of pediatric COVID-19 patients.

COVID-19 Vaccine Data

  • Receipt of 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine is effective in preventing COVID-19-associated emergency department and urgent care encounters and hospitalizations among non-immunocompromised persons aged 5-17 years.
  • Children (<18 years) may be at an increased risk for developing diabetes after COVID‑19 infection, but COVID-19 vaccination diminishes risk.  
  • Receipt of 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine is highly effective in preventing MIS-C in adolescents aged 12-18 years; estimated effectiveness was 91%.
  • Myocarditis after COVID-19 infection or vaccination is rare. In a 2021 report, only 86 children <16 years of age were diagnosed with myocarditis among nearly 65,000 (0.133%) children with COVID-19; additional research indicates that the risk for myocarditis is higher after COVID-19 infection than Pfizer or Moderna vaccination. 
  • is effective in preventing both asymptomatic and symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection with the Omicron variant among children and adolescents aged 5–15 years.
  • For ages 6 months – 5 years old who received either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, 98% of adverse events reported were non-serious (administration errors [45%], fever, rash, vomiting, uticaria); zero myocarditis events reported.
  • Recent findings show that COVID-19 messenger RNA vaccination during pregnancy resulted in a robust immune response without adverse outcomes for both mothers and infants for almost 6 months after birth.
  • No association found between the COVID-19 vaccine and lower fertility rates.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends COVID-19 vaccination for all children and adolescents 6 months of age and older who do not have contraindications using a vaccine authorized for use for their age.    

Additional Information

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American Academy of Pediatrics