COVID-19 Vaccine Questions and Answers

This content is paid for by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For more information or to find vaccines near you, visit; text your ZIP code to 438829 (GETVAX); or call 1-800-232-0233. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about COVID vaccines.

we can do this. Des Moines MomYou asked, we answered! Des Moines Mom readers submitted questions about COVID vaccines for children, and we had the unique opportunity to sit down with a local doctor to have your questions answered.

Dr. Sarah HollandWe are grateful for the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Sarah Holland from The Iowa Clinic, to talk through some of the most frequently asked audience questions about COVID vaccines. Dr. Sarah Holland is a board-certified pediatrician at The Iowa Clinic. She worked at the Blank Children’s Hospital Pediatric Emergency Department for seven years before moving to practice in a clinic setting.

We know the information provided by Dr. Holland will be helpful to Des Moines families as they make their decisions about vaccinating their children.

Watch the video in full here:


Questions Asked: 

Q: What are some of the short- and long-term possible effects of COVID vaccines? Are we certain that these vaccines are safe for children when we have such limited data on the long-term effects?

A: COVID vaccines have been shown to cause no long-term effects. It’s something that is being closely monitored and continues to be monitored as we move through time. Short term effects are very similar to what adults have experienced in that kids get a little bit of a sore arm, sometimes they have a little bit of low-grade fever, body aches, just feeling kind of fatigued. Anecdotally, I feel like kids definitely have fewer side effects. I definitely feel like us adults, maybe were a little bit more affected than kids have been. Most kids that we’ve seen in the office have been like, nope, my arm is totally fine. Not a big deal. And they definitely move on. So no known long term effects. And those short-term effects are generally very mild and short lived.

Q: As a follow up, we’ve had several parents ask about why should I get my child vaccinated if people who are vaccinated are still getting COVID?

A: the vaccine will definitely make kids less likely to get COVID. The other hope with it is that it helps prevent serious illness and hospitalization and helps prevent them from getting those long-term effects from COVID. You know, I get asked a lot if my kids are vaccinated, and kind of how I feel about it personally, as a mom and, and what I tell people is, I always kind of go back to, you know, these are trying times, we’re all you know, doing our best as parents to make the best decisions that we can for our children. And I always think to myself, like if my kid were to get really sick with COVID, I would want to feel like I had done everything I could. And for me as a parent, and as a pediatrician, part of that is getting them vaccinated. And so it’s just a really good way to help protect them from getting COVID, hopefully, but then also helping protect them against serious effects of COVID. 

Q: I know that that weighs heavily on parents’ minds and, you know, we appreciate your input both as a physician as well as a mom, too. So, okay, so follow up question to that. Definitely, if you get COVID, doesn’t that give your child or yourself natural immunity that works just as well as the vaccine?

A: The thought is it doesn’t work quite as well. We don’t know with natural infection, quite how durable that immunity is. And so just to give kids the best possible shot, we still are recommending that they’re vaccinated, even if they have had COVID. Whether it was a mild or more significant case, we’re still recommending that they get vaccinated for COVID.

Thank you to all of YOU who submitted questions for review! We wish we had time to get to all of them and appreciate your willingness to engage in this conversation, so that we can all make the best choices for our families.

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Kara originally hails from northwest Iowa where she met her husband, Lance, through a 4-H fashion show. After a decade of living in central Iowa, Kara is still figuring out which way is north. Wearing the hat of “wife, mommy, employee, chef, ribbon tie-er and family calendar organizer,” Kara knows a bit about juggling life and work. Kara became a boy-mom in June of 2011 to Lucan and a girl-mom to Gracelyn in December of 2014. Most days you can find her mixing up metaphors and oversharing life’s moments via social media. Kara enjoys yoga, reading, gardening, cooking, sewing in straight lines and singing along to musicals. A spender by nature, but thrifty by necessity, Kara is always in hunt of a bargain. She’s an active member of Northpoint Church and a resident of Grimes. Her vision for life includes “doing the best we can with what God gives us.”


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