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(NAPSI)—Children and teens are catching and spreading COVID-19 at an increasingly high rate. Even if your child or teen has not yet contracted COVID-19, they are at risk, especially with the low number of vaccinated residents in Oklahoma.
“In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, older people were most likely to get the virus. Now it is affecting everyone, and children and teens are also at risk of contracting the virus and experiencing long-lasting impacts,” said Dr. Dale Bratzler, University Chief COVID Officer and Professor in the OU Hudson College of Public Health. “We need to do everything we can to keep all our kids safe, and the best way to do that is to get more people vaccinated.”
Parents and other adults in a child or teen’s life can take steps to protect young people and themselves.
Get Your Child Vaccinated When Eligible
The best way to protect your children from COVID-19 and all the potential complications is to get them vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. The COVID-19 vaccine is free, widely available, and highly effective in preventing hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Like most vaccines, some minor side effects may occur, such as a sore arm or slight fatigue, but the symptoms and long-term impact of contracting COVID-19 are much more serious. Ultimately, it is much safer for children and teens to get a COVID-19 vaccine than getting the disease itself.
If your children are not eligible to be vaccinated, you can still keep them safe from COVID-19 by practicing recommended prevention methods such as physical distancing when possible and continuing to wear a mask, especially in crowds or while indoors. Even people who have been vaccinated should wear a mask in crowds and public indoor places. Most children can safely and effectively wear face masks, so it’s important to remind them that it keeps them safe and to set an example by wearing a mask, too.
Encourage Adults In Your Child’s Life To Get Vaccinated
Ensuring that those who spend time around your child are vaccinated helps keep an unvaccinated child from getting sick or spreading COVID-19 to other vulnerable people. Talk to the adults in your child’s life—grandparents, friends’ parents, and teachers—about getting vaccinated to protect themselves and your child.
Children and teens are just as susceptible to COVID-19 as adults, and they can spread the virus to others who are at even greater risk. A growing number of children and teens have been hospitalized with COVID-19. Getting all eligible children and teens vaccinated and following simple prevention measures will protect them, their families, and friends, and get everyone one step closer to getting this pandemic under control.
For more information and to find a vaccine, visit www.vaccines.gov.