Facts for parents about COVID-19 vaccines

This content was paid for by the US Department of Health and Human Services, and City Mom Collective is proud to support efforts to share the facts about COVID-19 vaccines. For more information or to find vaccines in your area, visit vaccines.gov; write your postcode to 438829 (GETVAX); or call 1-800-232-0233.

“Mom, when’s COVID over?” my disappointed six-year-old boy cried in my shoulder after announcing that we would not go to his grandparents for the weekend, as originally planned. We were exposed to the virus and did not want to spread it accidentally, especially to vulnerable family members.

“It is not fair!” he shouted. “I’m so tired of it all!”

“Me too, honey,” I whispered in his ear. “I also.”

African American family mother and adorable daughter during vaccination at clinic, wearing protective face masks.  Doctor putting tape on baby's shoulder after coronavirus injection, close up

Pandemic fatigue – it’s real. Everyone who is going through this unprecedented period in history is facing the effects of COVID-19 one way or another. And that includes our children. It is said that children are resilient – and they are, but that does not mean that they have not been profoundly affected by what we have all been through over the last two years.

Millions of children across the country have experienced disappointment, sadness and stress due to COVID. The school year was shortened, the following school years constantly interrupted by forced quarantines due to exposure, canceled activities, sick friends and family, grief caused by the loss of loved ones… the list never ends.

While basic preventive measures such as wearing veils, hand washing and social distancing are still important, COVID vaccines are the most effective way to fight and end a pandemic. And now that everyone in the United States aged 5 and over is eligible for vaccinations, we have reason to hope that a return to normal is possible. It is more important than ever for us to seek out and consume factual information about COVID vaccines so that each of us can make the best decision for our family about vaccinations.

City Mom Collective is proud to work with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide families with scientific facts about COVID vaccines to help them make those decisions. Together #WeCanDoThis: We can move towards ending the pandemic and return to the normal lives of our families.

COVID vaccines work

Did you know that since August 1 in 5 new cases of COVID in children? Although severe illness is rare in children, it does occur. And because experts do not know the long-term effects of the virus in children or adults, vaccination is the best defense we have to protect ourselves and our children.

COVID vaccines help prevent serious illness and death from COVID. Both the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that everyone aged 5 and older get vaccinated with COVID as soon as possible. We all want our children to be able to go to school without interruption, to visit their grandparents, to date and sporting events, and to live their lives without fear in general. Vaccination is the best way to protect our families and make life safer for everyone.

Revaccination is recommended for those who have already had two doses of COVID. Revaccination is an extra dose that increases the likelihood that your antibodies may protect you from serious illness. Reinforcement offers the most protection, so boosters are more important than ever.

COVID vaccines are safe

Misinformation about COVID vaccines is spreading as fast, if not faster, than the virus itself. When deciding on the health of our families, it is important to filter the facts from reputable sources. COVID vaccines are safe. Millions of Americans have safely received them under the strictest security surveillance in US history. Children under the age of 12 are given a smaller dose that has been specially adapted for younger children. Those 12 years of age and older receive the same doses as adults.

Questions about side effects or other potential vaccine problems? Here are the facts:

  • Children and adults who receive COVID vaccines may have temporary side effects, which usually last for several days after vaccination. These include pain and / or redness at the injection site, headache, chills, fever, nausea and tiredness. And while these side effects are unpleasant, the risks of COVID far outweigh the risks of vaccines.
  • The COVID vaccine cannot make a person get COVID. Vaccines do not contain any live virus, so it is impossible for you or your child to become infected with the virus. Similarly, unlike some online misinformation, vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA. This is biologically impossible.
  • There is no evidence that the COVID vaccine causes fertility problems or problems with pregnant women or their fetuses. And recent reports have shown that breastfeeding parents who have received the COVID mRNA vaccine have antibodies in breast milk. These antibodies could protect their children.
  • Very few cases of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the outer lining of the heart) have been reported after vaccination against COVID. Most of these cases occurred in adolescent men after the second dose of vaccine. Most of them responded well to medical treatment and rest. In fact, patients with COVID-19 had an almost 16-fold higher risk of myocarditis compared with patients who did not have COVID-19.

Making any health decisions for your family can be overwhelming. However, the available information indicates that the benefits of COVID vaccines far outweigh the risks, both in children and adults.

Where to get a COVID vaccine

Fortunately, COVID vaccines are readily available for both adults and children. They are completely free, regardless of health insurance or immigration status. There are several ways to find vaccines in your area:

  • Visit vaccine.gov
  • Send your postal code to 438829 (GETVAX)
  • Call 1-800-232-0233
  • Check with your child’s pediatrician or school about the availability of the vaccine. Many schools and health care providers offer vaccines that make it easier for children to get vaccinated.

Do you still have questions or concerns about vaccinating your children? Talk to your child’s doctor, as well as about any other health problem with your child. You can also do another survey by visiting cdc.gov/coronavirus.

Moms, let’s end the pandemic fatigue and come back to life. We owe it to our children and ourselves to work together to end this pandemic. We’re gonna make it!

David Berry

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