We Can Do This: Facts for Parents on COVID-19 Vaccines

This content was paid for by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and City Mom Collective is proud to support the effort to share facts about COVID-19 vaccines. 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.

“Mom, when is COVID going to be over?” my disappointed six-year-old cried into my shoulder after I broke the news that we wouldn’t be traveling to his grandparents’ house for the weekend as previously planned. We’d been exposed to the virus, and didn’t want to chance spreading it, especially to vulnerable family members.

“It’s not fair!” he cried. “I’m so tired of all this!”

“Me too, baby,” I whispered in his ear. “Me too.”

African american family mother and cute daughter making vaccination at clinic, wearing protective face masks. Doctor putting band on kid shoulder after injection against coronavirus, closeup

Pandemic fatigue- it’s real. Every person living through this unprecedented time in history is struggling in one way or another due to the impact of COVID-19. And this includes our kids. They say kids are resilient- and they are, but this doesn’t mean they haven’t been profoundly affected by what we’ve all been through the past two years.

Millions of kids around the country have endured disappointment, grief and stress due to COVID. A school year cut short, subsequent school years constantly interrupted by forced quarantines due to exposures, canceled activities, ill friends and family, grief caused by the loss of loved ones…the list is never ending.

While basic prevention measures such as mask wearing, hand washing, and social distancing are still important, COVID vaccines are the most effective way of fighting and ending the pandemic. And now that everyone in the United States ages 5 and older is eligible to be vaccinated, we have reason to hope that a return to normalcy is possible. It is more important than ever that we seek out and consume factual information about COVID vaccines so that each of us can make the best decision for our family regarding vaccination.

City Mom Collective is proud to partner with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide families with scientific facts about COVID vaccines to empower them to make these decisions. Together, #WeCanDoThis: We can move towards an end to the pandemic and return to normal life for our families.

COVID Vaccines Work

Did you know that since August, 1 in 5 new COVID cases have been in children?  While severe illness in kids is rare, it does happen. And because experts don’t know the long-term effects of the virus in kids or adults, vaccination is the best defense we have for protecting ourselves and our children.

COVID vaccines help prevent severe illness and death from COVID. Both CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend everyone ages 5 and older get a COVID vaccine as soon as possible. We all want our kids to be able to attend school uninterrupted, visit with their grandparents, attend playdates and sports events, and generally live their lives without fear. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect our families and make life safer for everyone.

For those that have already had two doses of a COVID vaccine, a booster is recommended. A booster is an extra dose that makes it more likely that your antibodies can protect you against severe illness. Being boosted offers the most protection, so boosters are more important than ever. 

COVID Vaccines are Safe

Misinformation surrounding COVID vaccines spreads just as fast, if not faster, than the virus itself. It’s important to filter out the facts from reputable sources when making health decisions for our families. COVID vaccines are safe. Millions of Americans have safely received them under the most rigorous safety monitoring in U.S. history. Children under 12 are given a smaller dose that has been specially tailored for younger children. Those 12 and older are given the same dosage as adults.

Do you have questions about the side effects or other potential problems from the vaccine? Here are the facts:

  • Both kids and adults who receive COVID vaccines may have temporary side effects that typically last for a few days after vaccination. These include pain and/or redness at the injection site, headache, chills, fever, nausea, and fatigue. And although these side effects are unpleasant, the risks from COVID far outweigh any risks from vaccines.
  • A COVID vaccine cannot make a person sick with COVID. Vaccines do not contain any live virus, so it is impossible for it to infect you or your child with the virus. Similarly, contrary to some misinformation online, vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way. This is biologically impossible.
  • There is no evidence that a COVID vaccine causes fertility problems or problems for pregnant women or their fetuses. And recent reports have shown that breastfeeding parents who have received mRNA COVID vaccines have antibodies in their breastmilk. These antibodies could protect their babies.
  • A very small number of cases of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the outer lining of the heart) have been reported following COVID vaccination. Most of these cases have been in adolescent males following the second vaccine dose. Most have responded well to medical treatment and rest. In fact, patients with COVID-19 had nearly 16 times the risk for myocarditis compared with patients who did not have COVID-19.

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

Where to get a COVID Vaccine

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

  • Visit vaccines.gov
  • Text your ZIP code to 438829 (GETVAX)
  • 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.

Do you still have questions or concerns about vaccinating your kids? Talk to your child’s doctor, as you would about any other health related issue with your child. You can also do more research by visiting cdc.gov/coronavirus.

Moms let’s put an end to pandemic fatigue and get back to living. We owe it to our kids, and ourselves, to work together in order to end this pandemic. We CAN do this!

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Elizabeth Baker
Elizabeth was raised in Houston and met her husband Ryan shortly after graduating from Texas A&M with a journalism degree. A few years later, Grayson {Sept 2010}, turned Elizabeth’s world upside down, not only with his sparkling blue eyes and killer smile, but with his profound disabilities and diagnosis of Mitochondrial Disease. After two years of navigating the world of special needs parenting, Elizabeth and Ryan were blessed with Charlotte {Jan 2013} and Nolan {Sept 2015}, perfectly completing their party of five. Elizabeth and her crew live in Katy, Texas, and when she can steal a few moments for herself, she can be found out for Mexican food and margaritas with girlfriends, binge-listening to podcasts and audiobooks, or trying once again {unsuccessfully} to organize her closet. In addition to her role with City Mom Collective, Elizabeth is the Managing Editor for Houston Moms. You can connect with Elizabeth on Facebook, Instagram or elizabethkbaker.com.