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Vaccination Protects Children From Serious COVID-19 Illness

August 22, 2023

New data gathered from July 2022-May 2023 show that children aged 6 months to 5 years who received the original COVID-19 vaccine and the updated vaccine were protected against COVID-19–associated emergency room and urgent care visits.

Both the original (monovalent) mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series and the updated (bivalent) vaccines provided protection against COVID-19-associated emergency department and urgent care visits in this age group.

The findings are reported in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR): Effectiveness of Monovalent and Bivalent mRNA Vaccines in Preventing COVID-19-Associated Emergency Department and Urgent Care Encounters Among Children aged 6 Months-5 Years  — VISION Network, July 2022 – June 2023. Westat staff members Elizabeth A.K. Rowley, DrPH, Sarah E. Reese, PhD, Yessica C. Martinez, MPH, Zachary A. Weber, PhD, and Sarah W. Ball, ScD, were among the coauthors; with Salome Kiduko, MPH, providing additional support. The data come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) VISION Network. Westat supports data management and analysis in this work.

As of June 2023, there have been more than 2 million COVID-19 cases, more than 20,000 COVID-19-associated hospitalizations, and more than 400 COVID-19-related deaths among U.S. children aged 6 months-4 years.

CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines; for the best protection, the COVID-19 vaccine series should be started as soon as children are eligible and completed within the recommended time.

For more information:

CDC website: Overview of COVID-19 Vaccines


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