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2 major reasons children should get vaccinated

Why should young people get vaccinated?

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Josh Hecht gets a COVID-19 vaccine as his mom, Christy watches at the Legacy Events Center in Farmington, Utah.

Josh Hecht, 14, center, gets a COVID-19 vaccine as his mother Christy, left, watches at the Legacy Events Center in Farmington on Thursday, May 13, 2021, where the Davis County Health Department offered Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to anyone 12 years of age and older.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

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.

Parents remain uncertain if they’re going to get their children vaccinated, Mary Carol Burkhardt, a pediatrician for primary care at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, told USA Today.

  • “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.