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After BMT, children may delay returning to school

Children can return to school after vaccinated for COVID-19

Number of ParticipantsN/A
Research GoalImprove Quality of Life
Most children who have had blood or marrow transplant (BMT) may need to delay returning to school until they have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19. 

That’s according to a recent survey of doctors. 

BMT can cure leukemia, sickle cell disease and other serious illnesses. However, for the first year after BMT, people can get infections more easily. People who recently got BMT are more likely to die of COVID-19 than people who had BMT more than 2 years ago. 

There are no studies yet that show when it's safe for children to return to school after BMT. 

Children might need to wait up to 1 year after transplant to return to in-person school. That’s from a 2020 survey of 120 doctors who performed BMT for children in the US. Most doctors recommended online school or hybrid school instead for the first year. However, the survey took place before the COVID-19 vaccine was available for children. 

Now, children and everyone in their household should get vaccinated for COVID-19. Children who have had BMT can get vaccinated as soon as 3 months after transplant. They may need 3 or even 4 shots to be protected. If you have concerns about vaccine safety, ask your child’s doctor about it. 

It’s also important to continue to wear masks, wash hands, and stay away from people who are sick. 

Keep in mind

Scientists are learning more about COVID-19 and BMT every day. This advice may change over time. 

Ask your child's doctor

  • When can my child to return to school in person? 
  • How can I protect my child’s health? 

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