“When will COVID be over?”, the million dollar question that my three children have asked numerous times in the past two years.
COVID continues to take and take and take and for many of us we are becoming mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted. My husband is a healthcare provider in Madison, WI – a career that was widely applauded and celebrated back in March of 2020… and now a career that has seen a mass exodus – with physicians, nurses and providers feeling depleted, overworked and exhausted.
Since the vaccine was released (just over a year ago) I felt encouraged that there would be brighter skies in our future. My husband was vaccinated in ‘Group 1A’ with healthcare workers – and when I was finally eligible to receive my vaccine in March of 2021, I did so eagerly.
It’s now January 2022, and we’re still on the roller coaster – with numbers continuing to rise. But the good news is that we have a vaccine that very effectively prevents hospitalizations and deaths… the not so good news is that unvaccinated individuals continue to fill our hospitals. According to the CDC– unvaccinated people are about 10x more likely to test positive than vaccinated people and 20x more likely to die from COVID-related complications.
I know every person’s story is different, and the decision to vaccinate your family is one that 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.
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.