Multiple experts told NPR this week that severe illness might be rare among children when it comes to COVID-19.
Gretchen Chapman, who works as a psychology professor who studies health questions at Carnegie Mellon University, told NPR that parents may be a little to concerned since there’s little data out there about children suffering severe illness from COVID-19.
- “If you stop going into stores because you’re terrified you’ll run into an unmasked person, that’s probably overreacting,” said Chapman.
- “We’re certainly seeing both sides of the coin,” she said. “Some parents want to be first in line and want to get their kids protected … on the other side, we have a lot of families who are not hesitant but don’t want to be first.”
But it’s still important for children to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Here are two major reasons children should look to get the vaccine, according to CNN.
Reason No. 1 — Variants
Getting young people vaccinated could lead to the end of the pandemic. More people would be vaccinated against the coronavirus, which means there’s less of a chance that those who are “unvaccinated could give the virus a chance to spread, mutate and develop a strain resistant to existing vaccines,” according to CNN.
Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency physician and director of the Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health, told CNN there could be a future COVID-19 strain that doesn’t get stopped by the vaccine. So stopping any potential variant is key, she said.
- “There may be future variants for which we are not so lucky,” she said.
Reason No. 2 — Long COVID-19
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said children could also face issues from COVID-19 over the long haul, becoming a victim of “long COVID.”
- “There’s a syndrome that is referred to as long-COVID, which means that you get a syndrome following the clearing of the virus where it could be for months,” he said, according to CNN.
Children can still contract severe illness from COVID-19, which means they could end up with long COVID-19, CNN reports.