Whether it’s participating in a summer learning program, going to camp, or joining a new sports team, summer is an exciting time for children to learn, play, and grow through new experiences. However, if your child has not yet received their Covid-19 vaccine, they may not have the chance to enjoy this special time of year.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to get your child summer ready. Covid-19 vaccines are safe. They have undergone—and will continue to undergo—the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. Distribution of pediatric vaccinations for these younger children has started across the country and will be available at thousands of pediatric practices, pharmacies, Federally Qualified Health Centers, local health departments, clinics, and other locations this week.
Here are some simple steps parents can take to ensure that their children are safe this summer, especially as they participate in programs with other kids:
Get your child vaccinated. Vaccination is the best defense against severe illness. Children 5 years or younger can be vaccinated with whichever vaccine is available. Parents can reach out to their doctor, nurse, local pharmacy, or health department, or visit vaccines.gov to see where vaccines for children are available.
Practice general safety measures. Make sure your child knows about good handwashing techniques and maintain a supply of hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol. Keep your child home if they are exposed to Covid-19 or show symptoms of illness. Before participating in any group activity, or if you suspect your child might be ill, get your child tested. In case of a positive test, follow the CDC’s quarantine and isolation guidance and notify the group, team, or program being attended by your child.
If your child has any of the following symptoms, you should keep them home, get them tested, and notify camp staff: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, the new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.
Children with certain health issues—such as asthma, diabetes, obesity, and sickle cell disease—have a greater chance of getting very sick from Covid-19. For more information on how Covid-19 vaccines can make this the best summer yet for your family, visit vaccines.gov.