COVID-19: Kids and Vaccines
Where and how do I get my child vaccinated?
Use Vaccines.gov to find a pediatric vaccination provider near you, then call or visit their website to make an appointment.
For a person younger than age 18, parental/caregiver consent is needed to get the shot. LDH has developed a consent form that can be found on its website at ldh.la.gov/Covid-19K-12.
Families can also call 211 or the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at 1-855-453-0774 with general questions or to find a vaccination location near them that has ordered COVID-19 pediatric vaccine.
What is the risk of COVID-19 to children?
COVID-19 cases in children can result in hospitalizations, deaths, MIS-C (multi-inflammatory syndrome in children) and long-term complications, such as “long COVID,” in which symptoms can linger for months. The spread of the Delta variant resulted in a surge of COVID-19 cases in children throughout the summer. During a 6-week period in late June to mid-August, COVID-19 hospitalizations among children and adolescents increased fivefold.
COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Louisiana. Since the beginning of August, 25% of all new COVID-19 cases in Louisiana were in children.
Tragically, LDH reported 9 pediatric deaths tied to the recent Delta surge alone. A total of 18 children in Louisiana have died of COVID since the pandemic began.
Nationally, according to the FDA, at least 94 children ages 5 to 11 have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and 8,300 have become so sick they needed to be hospitalized. In fact, COVID was the eighth-leading cause of death in the age group over the past year, after accidents, cancer, malformations, murder, heart disease, chronic lower respiratory disease, and flu or pneumonia.
MIS-C is most common in children between the ages of 5 and 13. Since July 1 of this year, 107 cases of MIS-C have occurred in Louisiana children. (Nationally, by early October, 5,217 kids had come down with MIS-C, including 2,034 between 6 and 11, according to the CDC.)
Why should you consider getting your child vaccinated?
Vaccination, along with other preventative measures, can protect children from COVID-19 using the safe and effective vaccines already recommended for use in adolescents and adults in the United States. Similar to what was seen in adult vaccine trials, vaccination was nearly 91% effective in preventing COVID-19 among children ages 5-11 years. In clinical trials, vaccine side effects were mild and similar to those seen in adults and with other vaccines recommended for children. The most common side effect was a sore arm.
COVID-19 vaccines have undergone - and will continue to undergo - the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. Vaccinating children will help protect them from getting COVID-19 and therefore reducing their risk of severe disease, hospitalizations, or developing long-term COVID-19 complications.
Getting your children vaccinated can help protect them against COVID-19, as well as reduce disruptions to in-person learning and activities by helping curb community transmission.
What if you have more questions?
That’s understandable. Families can call the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at 1-855-453-0774 to find a provider in their area and to speak to medical professionals with clinical experience who can help answer their questions.