Summer Camp Blog Post About COVID-19 Vaccines

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We’re Not Yet Out of the Woods With COVID-19

COVID-19 disrupted the camp experience for many children these last two summers. We’re aiming for our Summer 2022 sessions to be as close to normal as possible while, as always, prioritizing the health and safety of our campers and staff. 

[Update based on the situation nationwide and in your area at the time of publishing:] Right now, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the threat that COVID-19 poses is low in more than 75% of communities nationwide, including ours—but that could change. Once again, cases are rising because of the highly contagious Omicron BA.2 variant.

The best thing you can do to protect your child from the dangers of COVID-19 and help ensure they have a memorable experience this summer is to have your child up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines in time for camp.

COVID-19 vaccines are currently available for everyone ages 5 and older. You can find them near you at vaccines.gov. If your child is first getting vaccinated, make sure they get their 2nd dose at least 2 weeks before the start of their camp session. If your child is eligible for a booster dose, they should get theirs before camp starts.

Below is a breakdown of why we think it’s so important for every child to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

There’s no way to know if your child will experience the worst outcomes from COVID-19

Since the pandemic began, 7 in 10 children under age 18 in the United States have likely been infected with COVID-19. Among those children, over 100,000 have been hospitalized and over 1,500 have died.

COVID-19 can also cause multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, a rare but serious illness that involves painful swelling in different parts of the body, including the heart, lungs, and brain. Over 8,200 children with COVID-19 have also had MIS-C; 68 of those children have died.

Doctors say children with certain health issues have a greater chance of getting very sick from COVID-19. Those health issues include asthma, diabetes, obesity, and sickle cell disease.

However, even perfectly healthy children can get very sick from COVID-19. A study published in the medical journal Pediatrics found that almost half of children hospitalized with COVID-19 had no other health issues. News outlets repeatedly run reports like this one of children with no known health issues dying from COVID-19.

Even a mild case of COVID-19 can leave your child with long-lasting health problems

Estimates vary, but as many as 1 in 4 children who get COVID-19 can have new or lingering symptoms that last for weeks or months after infection. 

Common symptoms in children include sleep problems, tiredness, headaches, trouble concentrating, and joint and muscle pain.

Even kids in tip-top shape aren’t safe from long COVID-19. An article in STAT chronicled how one teenage gymnast went from training daily for hours to struggling to walk up a flight of stairs because of long COVID-19.

Your child could spread COVID-19 to other people who are in greater danger of severe illness

Children are just as likely as adults to get and spread COVID-19.

If your child gets COVID-19, they could be putting other people at risk, especially if they live in a multigenerational household or interact with people with certain health issues. Older adults and people of all ages, including children, with health issues are at greatest risk of severe illness from COVID-19.  

The vaccines work

Since COVID-19 vaccines became available, people in all age groups, including children, who are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines have been less likely to be hospitalized and die from COVID-19 than unvaccinated people. Vaccinated people are also less likely to get MIS-C and long COVID-19.

Researchers estimate that COVID-19 vaccination has prevented 66.1 million infections, 17 million hospitalizations, and 2.2 million deaths in the United States.