2022 comes with a lot of emotions. Will this be the year that we go from pandemic to endemic? Will this be the year with fewer COVID deaths, fewer sicknesses, fewer disruptions – than in 2020 and 2021? Will it be the year that hospitals are able to return to ‘normal’… or that we as a society are able to return to ‘normal’?
We all have a lot of questions and few of us – beyond the experts – have any great answers.
We have been on a roller coaster for nearly two years now… but the good news is that we now have a highly safe and effective vaccine for kids ages 5 and older!
Every family’s story is different, and the decision to vaccinate your family is one that is personal and is met with many questions and emotions. I am honored to partner with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to share facts about the COVID vaccines so that you can make the best choice for your family. And ultimately, it is YOUR CHOICE.
Just the facts: COVID and vaccines
Children are 4x more likely to be hospitalized from COVID if they live in a state with low vaccination rates compared to states with high vaccination rates.
Vaccines work: the COVID vaccine helps reduce the spread of the virus and more importantly prevents severe illness and death from COVID.
Safety is a top priority: Millions of people have safely received COVID vaccines under the most rigorous safety monitoring in U.S. history. COVID vaccines are the most closely monitored vaccines in U.S. history and are being monitored just as closely in children.
Smaller Dose: The vaccines given to children ages 5-11 are given in a smaller dose that has been tailored for younger children.
The American Medical Association reports over 96% of doctors have been fully vaccinated against COVID.
Everyone in the U.S. age 5 or older is now eligible to get vaccinated
Children ages 5 and older are eligible to get a safe, effective vaccine. The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics both recommend all children 5 and older get a COVID vaccine as soon as possible.
Will my child experience side effects?
In clinical trials, children had the same kinds of temporary side effects from COVID vaccines that adults have.
*Of my three children, two had zero side effects and one felt lethargic the next day (but not too lethargic to go to a friend’s birthday party!).
Frequently Asked COVID Questions:
- Can a COVID vaccine make my child sick with COVID?
None of the authorized and recommended COVID vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID. This means that a COVID vaccine cannot give your child COVID.
- Will a COVID vaccine alter my child’s DNA?
No. COVID vaccines do not change or interact with your child’s DNA in any way. It is biologically impossible.
- Do COVID vaccines affect fertility?
No, they do not. If you are trying to become pregnant now or want to get pregnant in the future, CDC recommends getting a COVID vaccine. Currently, no evidence indicates that any vaccines, including COVID vaccines, cause fertility problems, in women or men. In a recent study, people who had gotten the COVID vaccine had the same pregnancy success rate as people who had not been vaccinated. Vaccines are carefully studied and monitored, and it is clear they are safe for people who are pregnant or who want to become pregnant.
Where can I find a vaccine for my child?
Getting vaccinated has never been easier or more convenient. Vaccines are free regardless of health insurance or immigration status.
Vaccines for kids are now available at more than 30,000 trusted and convenient locations. To find the site closest to you, visit vaccines.gov; text your ZIP code to 438829 (GETVAX); or call 1-800-232-0233. Check with your child’s school or healthcare provider to see if they are offering vaccination clinics, as many are!
Getting vaccinated is the best way to control the pandemic and make it is safer for everyone to gather together at schools, playdates, weddings, and sports events, and during travel.
As always, we encourage you to speak directly with your physician to make the best decision for YOUR family.