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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19 Updates

Updated: April 14, 2022

New COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Recommendations

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently made a change to COVID-19 booster recommendations.

If your child has a medical condition that required three COVID-19 shots and more than four months have passed since their first booster shot, please call to schedule a second booster shot.

The CDC also says that people 50 years and older can get a second booster shot.

Learn more on the Vaccine tab.

Masks Still Required at All Locations.
To protect our patients, we will continue to require everyone age 2 and older to wear an approved mask while in a Nemours Children's hospital or clinic, even if they are fully vaccinated. New CDC guidelines on masking do not apply to health care facilities.

Learn more on the Visitor Restrictions tab.

 

Expert Care in the Age of COVID-19

We know how important it is for kids to stay on track with well-child visits and treatment for illnesses, injuries and chronic conditions. We’re ready to safely provide the care your child needs, either in our offices or through a telehealth visit.

Learn more about what to expect at your child’s next visit.

The COVID-19 Vaccine

The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine has been authorized for kids ages 5 and older. We are encouraging parents to have their eligible children vaccinated as soon as possible.

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and options to be vaccinated in your state, visit our Vaccine page.

COVID-19 Testing

At this time, Nemours is only offering COVID-19 testing for patients who have a scheduled appointment based on their symptoms, an upcoming procedure or surgery, or who need to be admitted to the hospital.

If your child is showing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, loss of taste or smell), call your Nemours provider or have a video visit on the Nemours app for care and testing instructions.

Visit our Testing page for more information and a list of community testing resources.

MIS-C: A reason to call your pediatrician immediately. Learn More

Mask Still Required at Nemours

To protect our patients, Nemours will continue to require everyone age 2 and older to wear an approved mask while in a Nemours facility, even if they are fully vaccinated.

Please note: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends all students older than 2 years and all school staff should wear face masks at school (unless medical or developmental conditions prohibit use). Therefore, we do not provide mask exemption letters for school.

Options For Care

In-Person Outpatient Services

Primary Care | Urgent Care | Specialty Care

Nemours is scheduling in-person appointments for primary care and specialty care. For in-person care without an appointment in Central Florida, visit a Nemours Children's urgent care location. In Pennsylvania, we encourage patients to visit our preferred urgent care provider, PM Pediatrics
 

Live Video Visits (Telehealth)

Primary Care | Urgent Care | Specialty Care

Our video visit options include scheduled primary care and specialty care appointments, as well as no-appointment, urgent care visits. Create a Nemours app account to get started.
 

Surgical Services

Elective and emergency surgeries are being performed as scheduled. Talk to your child’s Nemours provider if you have questions about presurgery requirements and the steps we are taking to keep your child safe.
 

Hospital Stays

At Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware in Wilmington, Del. and Nemours Children’s Hospital, Florida in Orlando, we’re continuing to provide exceptional inpatient care. We’ve taken the necessary steps to ensure our hospitals are safe, clean and welcoming. 
 

Emergency Care

If your child has a serious illness or injury, we have taken necessary steps to ensure that they can be seen safely in our emergency room.

Please Note: If your child has cold or flu symptoms, or they have been exposed to COVID-19, call your child’s primary care doctor first for care instructions. Do not come to the ER for COVID-19 testing. Wait times are long, and kids there might have very contagious illnesses.

Help us study the impact of COVID-19 on children’s health.

Learn More About COVID-19

We have a wealth of online resources to help you and your child learn about COVID-19 and how to stay safe during the pandemic at KidsHealth from Nemours . Check out our articles and videos for parents, kids and teens . We’re adding new information about COVID-19 and other health topics all the time, so check back often.

Nemours leaders have been asked to provide expertise and advice throughout the pandemic.
See what they're sharing.

Financial Assistance During COVID-19

If you are experiencing financial hardship or you’ve lost health insurance coverage due to COVID-19, we can help you. Because it’s so important to keep your child on track with routine care and immunizations, we offer financial assistance and other resources to lend a hand.

Dad holds young daughter on lap and checks thermometer while doctor in lab coat is on the smartphone screen in front of them for telehealth.

Help With Masking

Get tips (PDF) on helping your child get used to wearing a mask and discover two stories about masking written for kids.

Close-up of an adult placing a face mask on school-age girl

We Make Asthma Care Easy With the Nemours App

We created the Nemours app to help you easily manage your child’s health care. It also lets you communicate with your care team, track appointments and symptoms, access your child’s medical records, and launch video health visits on demand.

Learn More
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Community Physicians

Get the latest on our locations and how to refer your patients.

Learn More
Young patient and his mom high-five as they leave a group of hospital workers, all are wearing masks.

COVID-19 Testing for Children

Due to supply and staffing limitations, Nemours Children’s does NOT offer community testing or testing for patients without symptoms at any of our locations.

If your child needs a COVID-19 test for school, travel, or other activities, please visit a community testing site. DO NOT come to the Nemours Children’s Hospital emergency room unless your child is having a true medical emergency.
 

COVID-19 Testing Options

If your child is exposed to COVID-19 or begins showing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, loss of taste or smell), call your Nemours provider or have a video visit on the Nemours app for care and testing instructions.

COVID-19 Testing Options

Testing Options

Learn More About COVID-19 Tests

Experts from Nemours KidsHealth explain the different types of COVID-19 tests to help you determine which one might be right for your child.

Download the Nemours App

We created the Nemours app to help you easily manage your child’s asthma, as well manage other aspects of your child’s health care. The app is interactive, so it quickly assesses how your child’s asthma is doing, and tells you what steps you should take. It also lets you communicate with your care team, track appointments and symptoms, access your child’s medical records, and launch video doctor visits on demand. 

Learn More
Looking over woman's shoulder while she holds her mobile phone, reading the screen while sitting down

COVID-19 Vaccine and Children

Where to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine for Your Child

In the Delaware Valley

We are providing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to all Nemours Children's Health patients ages 5 to 21. Self-scheduling is available in the Nemours app or online. The Delaware Division of Public Health is hosting Pfizer vaccine walk-in hours at five public clinics. No appointments are necessary and clinics are open to Delaware residents age 5 years and older. Clinics are located in Dover, Georgetown, Milford, Seaford and Wilmington. Learn More

In Florida

All Florida residents age 5 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. We encourage parents to schedule your child's COVID-19 vaccination at any Florida community clinic or retail site offering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. All individuals under the age of 18 receiving a vaccine must be accompanied by a guardian and complete a consent form.

Frequently Asked Questions About the COVID-19 Vaccine

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for children?

The Pfizer vaccine is currently authorized for children age 5 years and up, and has been shown to be safe for that age group.

Will Nemours Children's be offering the COVID-19 vaccine to patients?

We are currently offering the vaccine to patients age 5 and older in the Delaware Valley. We encourage Florida families to schedule your eligible child's COVID-19 vaccination at any Florida community clinic or retail site offering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Can all children receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

Currently, we are vaccinating only children ages 5 and up. Once the vaccines have been authorized for younger children, we will be able to vaccinate them as well.

Can kids get COVID-19 vaccine along with the flu vaccine?

Yes. It is safe to get a COVID-19 vaccine along with any other routine vaccine, including the flu vaccine. All kids 6 months of age and older should get the flu vaccine as soon as it is available in their communities. All kids ages 5 years and older should get a COVID-19 vaccine. Getting both vaccines now can mean fewer trips to the doctor and feeling any vaccine-related side effects only once.

Is the lower-dose COVID-19 vaccine OK for my child? 

The experts have answered: the COVID-19 vaccine dose is based ONLY on a person’s age and NOT on their weight or height. The vaccine dosing is based upon the child’s age and is due to differences in immune response seen in younger children. Even with a lower dose, the vaccine was shown to produce a strong immune response in young children similar to that seen in older adolescents who received the higher dose.

If my child is almost 12 years old, should we wait to get vaccindated?

If your child is eligible to get the shot now, do it as soon as possible rather than wait for your child to turn 12, because:

  • You will be protecting them now instead of later. If they are unvaccinated, they are at risk of getting infected while they wait.
  • You will be protecting others. Fewer people will be exposed to your unvaccinated child, who is at risk of getting infected during the waiting period.
  • Scientific studies have shown that the lower dose for children under 12 is very safe and very effective. And results in less side effects.
  • Vaccinating the large group of children ages 5 through 11 can bring us one step closer to ending the pandemic.

If my child had COVID-19, should they still get the vaccine?

Yes, the vaccine is recommended for people who have had COVID-19 because natural immunity does not last long and your child can get COVID-19 again, putting themselves and others at risk.

Once my child has the vaccine, will we all still need to wear a mask and social distance?

Yes, you will still need to wear a mask, social distance and follow safety precautions. There are a few reasons for this:

  • The vaccine takes time to provide protection
  • The vaccine has not been shown to be 100% effective at protecting people from COVID-19 infection.
  • While the results from the clinical trials show the vaccine to be effective at reducing symptomatic COVID-19 disease, we do not know if the vaccine prevents asymptomatic infection and transmission of infection.
  • Early results from clinical trials suggest the immunity a person gets from the COVID-19 vaccine lasts longer than the immunity they would have after being ill with COVID-19, but we still do not know how long the protection will last.

Once vaccinated can my child or I still get COVID-19?

People can still get COVID-19 after vaccination. However, these infections are typically mild.

Does my child need the COVID-19 vaccine if healthy?

Yes, even young and healthy people should get the vaccine to avoid serious illness and health problems.

Does the COVID-19 vaccination cause infertility?

There is currently no evidence that the vaccine causes any problems with fertility (being able to have children) in women or men. The CDC, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians have all stated that the vaccines should not be avoided by people who are seeking pregnancy both now, as well as in the future.

Can the COVID-19 vaccine impact menstruation?

The COVID-19 vaccine does not cause dangerous or permanent menstrual cycle changes.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women?

Available evidence suggests the COVID-19 vaccine is safe for most pregnant and breastfeeding women and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists strongly recommends the vaccine for pregnant and breastfeeding individuals. Please consult with your personal physician to determine if the vaccine is safe for you.

How does the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine work? 

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are known as messenger RNA, or mRNA, vaccines. Unlike traditional vaccines that contain either weakened viruses or purified signature proteins of the virus, an mRNA vaccine contains a snippet of genetic instruction that directs your cells to make harmless copies of the viral protein in your body. These proteins then act like a “Wanted” poster, warning your immune system, “Hey, if you see something that looks just like this, it’s a big threat, so shut it down.” Your immune system responds by producing antibodies that can neutralize the real virus if you are ever infected.

How is the vaccine given?

The vaccine is given by injecting it into a muscle, usually in an arm or thigh.

How many doses are required?

For the Pfizer vaccine, two doses are required, given 21 days apart.

What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?

Most people report no or mild side effects from dose 1 and more noticeable side effects after dose 2. Of those who experienced side effects, the most common include fatigue, headache, soreness at the site of injection or muscle/joint aches. Less than 2% of participants experienced a fever. Most people who experienced side effects said they went away after 48 hours.

What should I do if my child has a serious reaction to the vaccine (e.g., allergic reaction, anaphylaxis, etc.)?

If your child experiences a severe allergic reaction such as anaphylaxis after receiving the vaccine you should seek medical care immediately or call 911. A severe allergic reaction can cause a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, swelling of the throat or a generalized rash or hives. These types of reactions are rare.

Wouldn't it be quicker and easier to have people get infected "naturally" to get to "herd immunity"?

No. Having uncontrolled, widespread community spread of COVID-19 would put your family and the entire community at serious risk. The health care system would be overwhelmed to the point that it could not take care of people with COVID-19 or those with any other health needs. Importantly, the risk of getting COVID-19 far outweighs any risk of the vaccine. Unfortunately, “natural immunity” does not last long; there are many cases of people who have already had COVID-19 twice. The best way to stop the pandemic is to follow safety guidelines and get the vaccine when it is your turn.

COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters: What to Know Now

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently made a change to COVID-19 booster recommendations.

What has stayed the same?

COVID-19 booster shots are recommended for everyone age 12 and older when five months have passed since they first received the COVID-19 vaccine. For most kids and teens that means they should get a booster shot five months after their second vaccine dose.

Some people with weak immune systems needed three primary doses when they first received the vaccine. For them, a booster shot is recommended when three months have passed since they received the primary three-shot series (three months after their third vaccine dose).

What is new?

A second booster shot is now available for some people. Patients 12 and over with weak immune systems can get another booster shot four months after the last one. These would be the same kids who received a three-shot primary series, so this would be a fifth shot for them.

Parents take note: The CDC also says that people 50 years and older can get a second booster shot.

What to do next?

If your child has a medical condition that required three COVID-19 shots and more than four months have passed since their first booster shot, please call to schedule a second booster shot. If you aren't sure if your child qualifies, please call their pediatrician to find out. If you are over 50 years old, please schedule your second booster shot with your doctor or pharmacy.

Learn More About the Vaccine

Help protect your family from COVID-19. Everyone who can get a COVID-19 vaccine should do so. The vaccines are safe and effective. Learn more from our experts at Nemours KidsHealth.

Young male patient wearing face mask listens to his doctor, a male physician also wearing face mask

Understanding COVID-19 Vaccine

Learn more about COVID-19 and the vacccine.

Allergy Concerns

If your child is avoiding COVID-19 vaccination due to a reaction to a medication or vaccine in the past, our Allergy Team can help. Please discuss a referral with your child's primary care provider.

Temporary Visitor Restrictions

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, we have implemented temporary visitor restrictions at all Nemours Children's locations.

Masks Are Required Inside All Nemours Children’s Locations

Everyone age 2 and older must wear an approved mask at all times while inside any Nemours facility.

  • Masks must fit snugly around the nose and mouth, with no major gaps.
  • The following are not permitted: masks and respirators with valves or vents, scarves, bandanas, masks with holes or tears, knitted masks and neck gaiters.
  • If you do not have an approved mask, one will be provided to you.

Outpatient Primary Care, Urgent Care and Specialty Care:

  • We are limiting visitors to two healthy parents/caregivers.
  • Brothers, sisters, other relatives or friends are not allowed at the visit, except for breastfeeding infants and siblings with an appointment.
  • Parents and caregivers who feel sick or who do not pass the health screening during scheduling calls prior to the visit and/or at the facility’s entrance will need to find a healthy caregiver to bring their child to their scheduled appointment. If parents are unable to find a healthy caregiver to accompany their child, please call us to reschedule the appointment. Depending on the reason for the visit, we may be able to reschedule the appointment as a telehealth visit.

Inpatient Admissions and Surgical Visits

NOTE: The Nemours Children's Visitor Policy applies only at our locations. Policies at our affiliated hospitals may be different. Read our full hospital visitation policy.

Nemours Children's Hospital, Delaware

  • Families should name one or two healthy parents/caregivers to be a patient’s approved visitors for the full hospital stay. Only these people may visit. All others, including siblings, cannot come into the hospital.
  • While up to two designated caregivers are allowed at the bedside, only one caregiver is permitted in the procedure and surgery waiting areas.
  • The designated caregivers will undergo a health screening upon arriving at the hospital entrance. After passing the screening, the designated caregivers may enter the building. Anyone who leaves the hospital will be screened again when they return.
  • Designated caregivers who have symptoms of COVID-19, including fever or cough, shortness of breath or sore throat, will not be allowed in the hospital. Those who have had a positive COVID-19 test in the past 10 days or who have had close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days will also not be permitted entry. If you are sick, please stay home.
  • For Perioperative Services and PACU, two healthy caregivers can be named but only one caregiver is permitted at the bedside; the second caregiver must remain in the Surgical Services or PACU waiting area.

 

Nemours Children's Hospital, Florida

  • Families should name one or two healthy parents/caregivers to be a patient’s approved visitors for the full hospital stay. Only these people may visit. All others, including siblings, cannot come into the hospital.
  • Up to two healthy caregivers can remain in the procedure and surgery waiting areas.
  • In the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), only one healthy parent/caregiver may be at the bedside due to space limitations.

Emergency Department Visits

Nemours Children's Hospital, Delaware

  • One or two healthy parents/caregivers can accompany a patient.
  • Brothers, sisters, other relatives or friends are not allowed at the visit, except for breastfeeding infants.
     

Nemours Children's Hospital, Florida

  • Only one healthy parent/caregiver is permitted to accompany a patient.
  • Brothers, sisters, other relatives or friends are not allowed at the visit, except for breastfeeding infants.

Patient Transport

Florida and Delaware

  • One healthy parent or caregiver will be permitted to ride in the ambulance with the patient.

Please note that these guidelines are subject to change. Nemours Children’s continues to monitor the situation daily. We appreciate your help in protecting our patients, visitors and associates.

Help With Masking

Get tips (PDF) on helping your child get used to wearing a mask and discover two stories about masking written for kids.

Close-up of an adult placing a face mask on school-age girl

Resources

The resources you need to protect your family from COVID-19 — all in one place.
Learn about the virus, ways to minimize the spread and how to protect yourself, your children and your community.

Learn More About COVID-19

We have a wealth of online resources to help you and your child learn about COVID-19 and how to stay safe during the pandemic at KidsHealth from Nemours . Check out our articles and videos for parents, kids and teens . We’re adding new information about COVID-19 and other health topics all the time, so check back often.

Nemours leaders have been asked to provide expertise and advice throughout the pandemic.
See what they're sharing.

COVID-19 Vaccine Resources for Parents and Teens

Nemour has partnered with ChristianaCare's Institute for Research on Equity and Community Health and the University of Delaware's Partnership for Healthy Communities to create educational materials for youth and families to learn about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Featuring local Delaware youth, families and health care providers of diverse backgrounds, these resources provide insight to help make an educated decision about the vaccine.

Pediatric Providers for COVID-19 Education

Have a Nemours Ambassador come talk to families about the COVID-19 vaccine at your vaccine clinic or event.

Reach out to External Affairs at communityengagement@nemours.org to schedule a provider for your next event.

Download Our Flyer (PDF)

Teens and families talk with doctors about the COVID-19 vaccine

How do we feel now that we’re vaccinated?

How can I trust that the vaccine is safe?

Help with Masking

Get tips (PDF) on helping your child get used to wearing a mask and discover two stories about masking written for kids.

Close-up of an adult placing a face mask on school-age girl