DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton Children’s Hospital is now requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for staff, volunteers, students and on-site contractors.

The hospital said it took this action at the urging of the Children’s Hospital Association, the American Hospital Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Nurses Association. The decision was made with a great deal of research, analysis and discussion, putting the safety of our children at the forefront, the hospital said.

In a release, the hospital said even though children are less likely to become seriously ill from COVID-19 infections, they have suffered. More than four million children have been diagnosed with COVID to date. Some have even developed MIS-C, in which their organs and even their skin becomes inflamed. They need long-term follow-up to ensure they recover, especially from heart issues.

Even those children who have not gotten sick have suffered. Pandemic-related isolation, fear and loss exacerbated mental and behavioral health conditions. Children who most needed academic support could not go to school. Learning all but ground to a halt. Support services through the school were severely limited.

Ohio’s vaccination rate is 50% and case numbers have begun to rise again.