As the summer season begins this year, there are many promising developments in our ongoing battle against COVID-19.  As cases and hospitalization rates continue to fall and restrictive measures are being relaxed, many of us are undoubtedly looking forward to this summer after over a year of lockdowns and masks.  One group that is certainly excited for summer are Maryland’s children.  Whether it be going back to summer camp or enjoying the local pool, many activities that children often look forward to during summer time will be happening this year.  I encourage you to let your children enjoy this summer but I have one request: please vaccinate your children against COVID-19.

          Recently, children as young as 12 became eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine.  Additionally, some of the other vaccines that many of us have received are currently being studied for use in younger children.  It is highly likely that in the near future, children younger than 12 will also become eligible to get vaccinated.

          It is incredibly important to get your children vaccinated against COVID-19.  Children, just like us, can get sick from COVID-19.  Admittedly, children are less likely to get severely ill from COVID and the vast majority of children who have gotten sick have recovered.  However, a small subset of children who have contracted COVID have developed a condition called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS).  MIS occurs when different organs of the body become inflamed.  It is a very serious condition and many children who have had it have required admission to the intensive care unit.  Although we are still unsure of what exactly causes MIS, there is a strong link between COVID and MIS.  Getting your children vaccinated against COVID decreases their likelihood of contracting COVID which will also help protect them from developing MIS.

          Another reason to vaccinate your children is for the benefit of others.  Children, although less likely than adults to get seriously ill from COVID, can still transmit the disease to others.  This means that children, just like us, can still spread the virus to vulnerable members of their household and their communities.  Although COVID cases are dropping, there are still new cases out there which means the virus is still spreading in our communities.  Getting your children vaccinated not only prevents them from getting ill but is an important step to preventing its spread to some of the most vulnerable members of our state.

          The CDC has said that those of us who are fully vaccinated can resume the activities we all enjoyed pre-pandemic.  As summer truly begins, get your children vaccinated so they can fully enjoy all that summer has to offer.  Aside from the benefits to your children, getting them vaccinated will also benefit your family and friends by helping to keep them safe.  After over a year of lockdowns, you deserve to enjoy this summer; getting every member of your household vaccinated is an important step to making sure everyone is safe while doing so. 

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