As COVID-19 vaccinations gain approval for adolescent age groups, pediatric healthcare professionals have a critical role in helping parents and guardians understand the importance of COVID-19 vaccination and assuring them that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and protect their child’s health.
Here are frequently asked questions for pediatricians to consider as they help parents and guardians feel confident in choosing to have their children vaccinated against COVID-19.
1. Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for children?
Before a vaccine is released for administration, it undergoes FDA’s extensive lab testing and numerous clinical trials. Following the trials, the FDA, CDC, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other federal agencies routinely monitor its use and investigate any potential safety concerns.
Now that federal health officials have approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children 12 years and older, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has also urged children to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is available to them.
2. What are the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine?
- COVID-19 vaccines are effective; they can keep your child from getting and spreading the COVID-19 virus.
- Once your child is fully vaccinated, you and your child can start resuming normal activities.
- Vaccination provides a strong boost in protection to children who have already recovered from COVID-19.
- None of the COVID-19 vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID-19, so a vaccine cannot infect your child with COVID-19.
3. What are the possible side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine in children?
Vaccination may have some side effects. These are normal indications that your child’s body is building immunity. Side effects may include redness, pain, and swelling on the arm where your child received the shot, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea.
4. Where can I receive a COVID-19 vaccine for my child?
Check your local pharmacy’s website to see if vaccination walk-ins or appointments are available. Contact your state or local health department for more information.
Find a COVID-19 Vaccine: Search vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you in the U.S.
You may contact your child’s pediatrician for more information on how to access the COVID-19 vaccine.
5. How do I prepare a child for COVID-19 vaccination?
Before the visit:
- Read the vaccine materials that you received from CDC, FDA, or AAP. Note any questions you have for the pediatrician.
- Researchthe benefits and risks of the vaccines that your child will receive.
- Take alongyour child’s immunization record.
Support your child during the vaccine visit, possibly bringing his or her favorite toy to comfort them during the vaccination. If your child is older, you can have an honest conversation, explaining that shots can pinch or sting, but that it won’t hurt for long.
During the visit:
- Read the vaccine information that your child will be receiving that day.
- Be calm and supportive during the vaccine shot.
- Once the shot is given, ask your pediatrician if NSAID pain relievers or other comfort measures may reduce the side effects of the vaccine.
After the visit:
Your child might experience mild reactions from the vaccine shot, such as pain at the injection spot, a rash, or a mild fever. These reactions are normal and will soon go away. Learn more.
6. Will the COVID-19 vaccine enable my child go back to school, sports, and other activities?
It is expected that when enough people are protected from the coronavirus, the risk of infection will begin to decline. Vaccines, along with mask-wearing, physical distancing, and other precautions will help ensure your child’s gradual return to school, sports, and other group activities in the future.
7. What is v-safe
V-safe is a free, smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after your child receives a COVID-19 vaccination. Through v-safe, you can report side effects your child may experience and v-safe reminds you to get your child’s second dose.
How iPatientCare can help pediatricians?
iPatientCare offers a full suite of innovative healthcare technology products and value-added services that help pediatricians improve the health of their young patients by enhancing the care through care management, coordination, and analytics. iPatientCare’s solutions include remote patient monitoring, patent engagement, and a customizable Pediatric EHR.
Interested in learning more about how iPatientCare’s digital solutions are supporting providers during the pandemic? Contact us today.