COVID-19 Vaccine: What Parents Need to Know
Children need protection from COVID-19 both for their health and the health of family and friends. New COVID-19 variants and more in-person activities mean the virus is still being transmitted, and kids are still getting sick and may have complications or long-lasting symptoms that affect their health and well-being. The virus can cause death in children, although this is rarer than for adults.
Now that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is available to kids ages 12 and up, getting your child vaccinated is the best way to ensure they safetly get back to the activities they enjoy like sports, choir, plays, and parties with some added confidence that they are protected!
Checklist to prepare for your child’s COVID-19 vaccination:
- Call your child’s pediatrician or primary care doctor and tell them you’re planning to have your child vaccinated. Ask them questions and share any concerns you may have.
- Schedule your child’s COVID-19 vaccine appointment by calling any Singing River Medical Clinic or Singing River Pediatric Clinic.
- Be sure a parent or legal guardian is with your child at the time of their appointment to sign consent forms.
- Many local vaccination clinics, pharmacies, community vaccination sites, churches, or schools may also offer vaccinations for kids and have walk-in hours.
- Be sure your child is up to date on all routine immunizations. If they’re behind on their shots, call your pediatrician’s office to make an appointment to get caught up.
- There’s no need to wait after these routine shots to get the COVID-19 shot.
Things to Remember After Vaccination:
- After your child receives their first vaccine, schedule the second dose.
- Your child is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose of the vaccine.
- Keep the paper vaccination card you will receive!
- Take a photo of it or copy it and keep everything in a safe place.
- Don’t laminate the vaccination card, in case more information needs to be added.
- To avoid identity theft risk, don’t share a photo of the card on social media.
- After the second vaccine dose, send a copy of the card to your pediatrician’s office. The office can include this in your child’s medical record. You may also need to send a copy to your child’s school or college health office.
- Current safety and efficacy testing of the vaccines for children ages 2 and up may lead to authorization of one or more of the COVID-19 vaccines for younger kids in the months ahead.
More Information & Resources
- The Science Behind the COVID-19 Vaccine: Parent FAQs
- Ask the Pediatrician: When can children get the COVID-19 vaccine?
- Children and COVID-19: State-Level Data Report (AAP.org)
- VaccineFinder (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics | Last Updated 5/12/2021