Jan 13, 2023 - COVID

New Utah study affirms COVID vaccine is safe for kids

Illustration of a stack of wooden toy blocks showing a syringe, a COVID cell and a cotton swab.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A new Utah-led study shows the COVID-19 vaccine didn't trigger dangerous responses in children who previously had a severe reaction to the virus itself.

Driving the news: The study, co-authored by a doctor at Primary Children's Hospital, looked at 185 kids who suffered from MIS-C, a rare condition in which severe inflammation develops a few weeks after a COVID infection.

  • The inflammation appears to stem from an overreaction of the immune system, and can cause lasting organ damage.
  • But none of the kids who developed MIS-C experienced severe reactions to the vaccine, which also triggers an immune response.

Why it matters: Parents have specifically cited fear of heart inflammation as a reason for not getting their kids vaccinated.

  • Research already shows children's risks of inflammation from the vaccine are low, and the new study suggests that holds true for kids who have a history of COVID-related inflammation.

What they're saying: "This information can help give parents peace of mind and additional information for them to use when making decisions about [the] COVID vaccine after MIS-C," Dongngan Truong, the study's co-author, said Thursday in a news release.

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