Systems and Standards Research & Reports
April 13, 2021

Prevalence of Risk Factors for Severe COVID-19 Disease: Implications for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs

By: Jay G. Berry, MD, MPH, Jonathan Rodean, MPP, Anna Desmarais, BS, Alyssa Teves, RN, Troy Yang, MS, Lynne Ferrari, MD

Many children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) have conditions that put them at risk for severe COVID-19 illness. Identifying CYSHCN with risk factors for severe COVID-19 illness is paramount to assist strategic planning efforts for vaccine distribution. This report covers the health conditions that may put these children at risk, including how the conditions may be used to prioritize vaccine distribution, how to identify the conditions using health care claims, and how estimating the prevalence of these conditions can help ensure that children and youth receive the care they need during the pandemic.