Vaccinations are the best way to protect yourself, your family, and your community. City Schools strongly encourages all staff and families to get vaccinated and boosted!
Please see below for frequently asked questions and links to important resources.
To learn more, visit www.baltimorecityschools.org/safety-procedures
Where to get the vaccine?
The Baltimore City Health Department runs free vaccination clinics. Visit the Baltimore City Health Department website for more information about the COVID vaccine and dates and locations of free vaccination clinics.
Many children will get vaccinated at their pediatrician’s office. Call your child’s health care provider to see if they have the vaccine.
There are several pharmacies in the Baltimore area administering the vaccine, such as Rite Aid, CVS, Walgreens, and Safeway. Pharmacies generally do not provide vaccinations of any kind for children under 3, and some may not carry the vaccine for children under 5.
Who is eligible for the vaccine?
Everyone 6 months and older are eligible for vaccination and can be protected against COVID-19.
Is the vaccine safe for children?
Yes. Over 20 million children in the USA have been vaccinated. Children under 12 receive a smaller dose of vaccine than older children and adults. The vaccine was fully tested in children. No steps were skipped. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends vaccination of children ages 6 months and up.
Could the vaccine cause health problems for my child in the future?
Vaccine side effects happen soon after vaccination. Vaccine side effects don’t appear months or years later. Side effects in children may include a sore arm, fatigue, joint and muscle aches, lymph node swelling and headache. These side effects will go away on their own in a few days.
Some parents may be concerned about reports of myocarditis in young adult men after vaccination. This is quite rare in children. No children developed myocarditis that participated in the vaccine clinical trials. COVID may cause long term health problems. The vaccine will not.
My child had COVID-19. Do they still need the vaccine?
Yes. Since the Omicron variant, antibodies from getting Covid are not as long-lasting as we thought. People who already had COVID can get COVID again 4 weeks later! Vaccination makes that less likely.
Why is vaccination so important?
COVID is not going away. If your child gets COVID there is a small risk they will get very sick. A small number of children who get COVID get a dangerous inflammatory syndrome, known as Multi Inflammatory Syndrome in children. A small number of children get “long COVID,” which means being sick for months. Getting children vaccinated will protect them from getting very sick and will minimize missed days of school by helping your child stay healthy and return to school after the required isolation period.
Many children have suffered from not going to school and having their learning environment disrupted during the pandemic. They have missed out on social development by being kept apart from friends. Vaccinated children will be able to stay in school, and safely participate in social activities with friends and family.
What is Long COVID and do children get it?
Long COVID is when someone continues to have lingering health problems more than four weeks after getting COVID. It is also known as long-haul COVID or chronic COVID. Studies suggest that between 2% and 10% of children who get COVID will have long COVID. Symptoms include fatigue, muscle and joint pain, headache, insomnia, respiratory problems, and heart palpitations.
What causes Long COVID and how can I prevent my child from getting it?
It’s unclear why some people get long COVID. People who have high blood pressure, diabetes or other risk factors are more likely to get very sick with COVID. But even people with a mild case of COVID can have long COVID symptoms.
The best way to prevent long COVID in children is to reduce the chance they’ll get COVID, or that they’ll get it again. The best way to reduce the chance of getting COVID is vaccination! Get children vaccinated and boosted.
How do I know if a child has Long COVID?
If a child has had COVID and continues to feel unwell or tired a month after they first got COVID they should see their doctor. Children don’t always know how to tell grown-ups what they are feeling. Watch for a child who says they are tired, falls asleep in their chair, who doesn’t show interest in activities they normally enjoy, or has difficulty thinking or concentrating, also known as “brain fog.”
Are students and staff required to get the vaccine?
Employees are required to be vaccinated unless they apply for and receive a religious or medical exemption from the district. Employees who receive an exemption must be tested in line with City Schools testing program. If employees do not meet these requirements, they are subject to progressive disciplinary measures.
COVID vaccination is not required for students, but it is strongly encouraged.