If kids may have more mild illness, why is a vaccine necessary?

Though most children with COVID-19 have mild or no symptoms, some children can get severely ill and require hospitalization, and there is no way to tell in advance if your child will get a severe or mild case. Also, this age group can transmit the infection to more vulnerable family and community members, such as those who are unable to get the vaccine.

There have also been rare, tragic cases of children dying from COVID-19 and its effects, including multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C. Visit Michigan.gov/MISCChildren to learn more about this post-COVID-19 syndrome.

While children and teens may not be as likely to get severely ill from COVID-19, it can still happen. With this in mind, parents should consider the following:

Michigan data:

  • In Michigan, more than 423,200 confirmed cases from ages 0 to 19 years have been reported as of June 1, 2022.
  • Forty-five COVID-19 deaths have been reported in youths ages 0 to 19 years as of June 1, 2022.
  • In Michigan, 299 children have been identified with Multisystem Inflammatory Disorder (MIS-C) cases as of June 2, 2022.

National data:

Over time, children 5-11 years are making up a greater proportion of total cases. As of June 6, 2022, more than 5 million children aged 5-11 years have been infected, consisting of 6.7% of all cases in the U.S. Children aged 12-17 years make up an additional 7.5%. Overall, there have been over 13.1 million COVID-19 cases in children aged 0-17 years in the U.S. (CDC COVID Data Tracker)

More than 128,100 children ages 0-17 years have been hospitalized due to COVID19 in the U.S (between 8/1/2020-6/4/2022). (CDC COVID Data Tracker)

  • Conditions such as obesity, asthma, and developmental delay, as well as other pre-existing conditions, increase the chance for hospitalization.
  • Racial and ethnic minority groups have disproportionately higher hospitalization rates among every age group, including children aged younger than 18 years.
    • As of Feb. 19, 2022, for children ages 0-17 years, the rate of hospitalization is 150.6 for Non-Hispanic Black, 145.0 for Hispanic or Latino, and 63.0 for Non-Hispanic White. (Disparities in COVID-19- Associated Hospitalizations | CDC)
  • More than 1,520 children and teens up to 17 years of age in the U.S. have died from COVID-19 (as of 6/6/2022). (CDC COVID Data Tracker)
  • There have been 8,525 cases of MIS-C, including 69 deaths) reported on or before 5/31/2022. (CDC COVID Data Tracker)
    • Fifty percent of children with MIS-C were between the ages of 5 and 13 years.
    • MIS-C can occur weeks after COVID-19 infection, even if the child or family did not know the child had COVID-19.
    • Most children who become ill with MIS-C will need to be hospitalized and some will need to be treated in the pediatric intensive care unit.
    • To date, the majority (57%) of MIS-C patients have been of Hispanic/Latino or Non-Hispanic Black race/ethnicity. Hispanic/Latino and Non-Hispanic Black populations are also disproportionately affected by COVID-19 overall.

Getting adolescents vaccinated means their safer return to social activities and can provide parents and caregivers peace of mind knowing their family is protected. Further, vaccinating children is key to raising the level of immunity in the population and limiting the spread of COVID in our communities.


Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: Questions and Answers about COVID-19 Vaccines


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About I Vaccinate

I Vaccinate provides information and tools based on real medical science and research to help Michigan parents protect their kids. Support is provided by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Franny Strong Foundation.

You’ve got questions. That’s a good thing.

As parents, determining how best to protect our children can be overwhelming and confusing. We’re here to help.

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