A year ago, I vividly remember longing to send my kids to school and not just because it was the end of a long winter break. We were stuck at home for what felt like the 764th day, staring at a computer screen, trying our best to survive another day of virtual learning. It was the dead of winter, and we were limping through the school year, dreaming of the day when kids would be able to go back to full-time, in-person classes.
Thankfully my kids are able to go to school in-person this year, but the reality of COVID-19 remains. Do I love the fact that they have to wear masks to school? No. But if it means they are able to stop the spread of COVID and remain in school, learning, growing, and playing with their friends, it is worth it.
Our kids won’t remember a world where wearing a mask wasn’t a normal part of their daily routine. Or when the words “quarantine” and “COVID” weren’t used on a regular basis. We have missed holidays with family and canceled travel plans due to the virus. It’s hard to believe we’re still talking about COVID and figuring out the new normal in January 2022.
In November 2021 the FDA authorized a COVID vaccine for children ages 5-11. Vaccines help reduce the spread of COVID and make it possible for us to regain a sense of normalcy.
We know every family’s experience is different, and the decision to vaccinate your family is one that is met with many questions. Des Moines Mom is proud to partner with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to share facts about the COVID vaccines so you can make the best choice for your family.
Just the facts on COVID-19 Vaccines
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.
Vaccines work. COVID vaccines help prevent severe illness and death from COVID. Almost eight 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 the same safe, effective protection from COVID that hundreds of millions of American adults have received. 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 multiple days out of school or, worse, hospitalization!
Where can I find a vaccine for my child?
Vaccinations are easily 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 protect our families and make life safer for everyone.
Together, We Can Do This.
For more information or to find vaccines near you, visit vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829 (GETVAX), or call 1-800-232-0233.