This content was paid for by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Gulf Coast Mom is proud to support the effort to share facts around COVID vaccines. For more information or to find the vaccination site closest to you, visit vaccines.gov; text your ZIP code to 438829 (GETVAX); or call 1-800-232-0233.
“I’m sorry, son… we need to wait and see the cousins another time.” I vividly remember saying to our 4 year-old who just wanted to play with his cousins and new toys after the first Christmas in our new home.
There are times I find myself speechless when it comes to explaining COVID-19 to a little boy who just wants to enjoy life, less of worry and illness.
A little boy who doesn’t understand why mom can’t make a peanut butter sandwich for the next few days because she’s sick. And like so many little boys, to tumble around and wrestle with friends. I want him to experience those childhood moments he deserves.
In April 2020, we had a sweet baby girl. A time that is usually filled with joy and family in the waiting room was starkly very different. My best friend, a family physician on the frontlines, came to visit me through a window before delivering. Usually family would help with holding and caring for the baby, but instead much of them met her from 6 feet (or more) away. This pandemic caused our already heightened fear of germs and sickness to increase exponentially. For the safety of our newborn we hunkered down and isolated. This was one month after the pandemic started, and dealing with uncertainty and Postpartum feelings was more than I could handle some days.
So when my husband and I were finally eligible for the vaccine, we did so eagerly. And to be honest, as I drove away after my first shot, I shed tears—of hope for my family.
And now, it’s 2022 and there still seems that uncertainty looms.
I don’t have the answers, nor do I pretend to. But what I do know is we make the best decisions for us and how it will impact our family. We ask questions and consult our doctors.
Every family has a different story, and the decision to vaccinate your family is one that we know is met with many questions. We are 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.
SAFETY IS 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.
COVID vaccines help prevent severe illness and death from COVID.
More than seven million Americans under 18 have gotten COVID. Since August, hospitalization rates for children with COVID have reached record highs.
But great news! Everyone in the U.S. age 5 or older is now eligible to get vaccinated.
Children ages 5 and older can get a safe, effective vaccine for the same protection from COVID that hundreds of millions of American adults have already gotten. While it’s rare for children to become seriously ill from COVID, it is possible. Coupled with the fact that experts aren’t sure what the long-term impacts of COVID infection are, it’s clear that protection measures should be taken.
Because of this, CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics both recommend all children 5 and older get a COVID vaccine as soon as possible. COVID vaccines are given to children ages 5-11 in a smaller dose that has been tailored for younger children.
WHAT ABOUT SIDE EFFECTS?
In clinical trials, children had the same kinds of temporary side effects from COVID vaccines that adults have. One day of discomfort sure beats several days out of school or, worse, hospitalization!
VACCINATIONS ARE WIDELY ACCESSIBLE
Check with your child’s school or health care 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 safer for everyone to gather together.
Getting vaccinated will also ensure that a little boy can experience the joy of play more safely. And to finally have a wrestling match with the cousins that’s been long overdue!
We Can Do This.
For more information or to find the vaccination site closest to you, visit vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829 (GETVAX), or call 1-800-232-0233.