Paid for by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
The last two years have been hard. My family is very social and very active. We thrive off in-person connection. We get our reset from day-to-day routines and stressors by travelling and experiencing new things. Nearly all of our hobbies, whether it’s planning parties, meeting with our scouting clubs, playing baseball (or attending live games), and travelling, involve hanging out with others. While we did our part these past years by distance learning and staying home, the relief we felt when the vaccine became available was palpable. There is now a light at the end of the tunnel, and just in time for the world to start opening back up for us. There was just one thing missing, until recently. While it was a great start that my husband and I were more protected after becoming fully vaccinated in April, we didn’t feel safe getting completely back to our routine until our kids could have the same protection. Thankfully, now the vaccine can help provide children ages 5 and older with the same strong protection that hundreds of millions of American adults (like my husband and me) have from COVID. I now have the peace of mind that I’m protecting my children with the most effective tool we have to fight COVID and the highly contagious variants.
Our kids are back at in-person school this year, and I am so grateful to see them thriving once again with the interaction they so missed and needed last year. They are happy to go to school each morning and energized when they get home. Sawyer is back to playing baseball with his team, which is something he lives for. We’re also getting ready to plan a big trip for spring break, and it feels so good to have something like this to look forward to as a family! While this is very exciting, the fact that we’re around so many more people has made it all the more important to be as protected as possible – not just so we can enjoy these things we love so much, but also so we can do them while minimizing risk for others in our community and do our part for public health.
The reality is this: we have the option to help keep children from getting seriously sick AND have a significant impact on overall COVID infection rates in the U.S. While there is no way to know how contracting COVID will affect my children, the clinical trials showed vaccines to be highly effective at protecting kids from severe illness, hospitalization, and death from the virus. Since August, an average 100,000 children a week have gotten COVID, but vaccines can bring that number down and are highly effective at protecting children That data speaks for itself, and as a parent, choosing to have my kids get their pediatric COVID vaccine (which they were both eager to get) is the best way to keep them safe right now while we return to a more normal routine of school, sports, travel, and other extracurricular activities. It’s also the best way to reduce the spread of COVID so we can safely visit with our elderly and at-risk loved ones again.
Just think of how much faster we’ll all be there now that everyone ages 5 and above are eligible for a vaccine! Together, We Can Do This! I’m sharing some information below that may help in your research but be sure to talk to a doctor if you have questions about the vaccine. Find vaccines near you at vaccines.gov.
I understand that research and due diligence are important steps for making decisions for your family. Here is the latest information from the CDC and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to aid in your research.
- Everyone in the United States ages 5 or older is now eligible to get vaccinated.
- 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 under 12 in smaller doses, tailored for younger children. Adolescents ages 12 and older receive the same dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine as adults.
- Over 7 million Americans under 18 have gotten COVID-19.
- Since August, COVID has made an average of 100,000 kids a week sick.
- Since August, hospitalization rates for children with COVID have reached record highs.
- Even though it’s rare for kids to get severely ill from COVID-19, it can happen – and it’s even more likely they could spread the virus to other people who are at greater risk.
- In clinical trials, children had the same kinds of temporary side effects from COVID vaccines that adults have, including a sore arm, tiredness, headache, and chills. They are signs that the vaccine is working and that your child’s body is building protection against the virus (the risks from COVID far outweigh any risks from side effects of the vaccine).
- The vaccines work. COVID vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death.
- Getting vaccinated has never been easier or more convenient.
- Everyone in the United States ages 5 and older is eligible to get vaccinated.
- Vaccines are free regardless of health insurance or immigration status.
- There are more than 75,000 places to get a COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S., and 90% of Americans have a vaccine site within 5 miles! 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 pediatrician or their school for vaccine availability. Many schools and health care providers are offering vaccines to make it easier for children to get vaccinated.
- Want more information about the benefits of getting vaccinated? Ask a doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Talk to a doctor. We encourage you to talk to your child’s health care provider about any other questions you may have about the COVID-19 vaccines. More than 90% of doctors indicate that they are fully vaccinated!
- Research for yourself at cdc.gov/coronavirus for more information.
- Help the people you care about find a vaccine at vaccines.gov.
Together, we can protect our children and do our part to protect our communities. #WeCanDoThis!