How can I protect my child from COVID?

Health care workers answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccines.

Rhea Boyd, MD, MPH explains how getting vaccinated as soon as you are eligible is the best way to protect those who can’t, including younger children.

So, one of the most effective ways for parents to protect their kids from being exposed to COVID is to get vaccinated. So, having caregivers be vaccinated helps decrease the spread of COVID within your household, but it’s also important for the whole family to understand that kids can also be infected with COVID, and they can introduce COVID into your household and expose other members of your family. And so, the reason you want to vaccinate kids and caregivers is so that no one brings COVID into your household.

The safest way for kids to go back to school is to be in an environment where all of the caregivers in that school, all of the teachers, all of the administration, all of the staff, the environmental services workers, where all of the adults in that building are vaccinated. Then, as kids become eligible, all of the kids who, for whom a vaccine is authorized, they should also be vaccinated. Having a high population that’s vaccinated within your school decreases the spread of COVID within the school population. And so, vaccines are a critical way for us to make school safe when kids return in the fall. Even as there are younger kids who are not yet eligible to receive a COVID vaccine, that they can still take the same precautions, that they can mask and be in highly ventilated areas. So, they’re not exposed to COVID either.

This information is shared for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. The views expressed are those of the featured medical professional and reflect information available to that professional at time of filming. Always consult a health care provider for any personal health decisions. Click here for vaccine FAQs from the CDC.

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COVID vaccines are available at no cost to everyone ages 12 and older in the U.S., regardless of insurance or immigration status.

Use Vaccines.gov to find a location near you.