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 Cedar Rapids Moms 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.

We came upon a big turning point in this pandemic a few months ago when everyone in the United States ages 5 and older became eligible to be vaccinated. Now, more than ever before, we have hope that life can return to “normal” sooner, rather than later.

It is more important than ever that we seek out and consume facts about COVID-19 vaccines so that each of us can make the best decision for our family regarding vaccination.

For this reason, Cedar Rapids Moms is incredibly 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 important decisions. Together, #WeCanDoThis. Together, we can move closer to an end to the pandemic and return to normal life for our families.

We are resilient, but we are tired.

Every passing day that COVID-19 is impacting our daily lives, we learn to pivot, re-learn how to get through it, and as moms and parents, we focus our energy on our children. Watching the way our kids are impacted by COVID has been tiring, and as resilient as they are, they have been profoundly affected by what we’ve all been through the past two years.

From shortened school years that are interrupted by exposures, forced quarantines, work-life situations that were turned upside down, learning (and attempted teaching) from home, the disappointment from canceled activities, the grief and heaviness that came from watching loved ones becoming ill; the impact is big and as parents, we’re tired.

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.

Let’s Talk Facts About COVID Vaccines.

Like many of the decisions we make for our kids on a daily basis, the decision of whether or not to vaccinate our children or not is highly personal. There are many factors involved, so we do the best that we can as parents. We research, seek out advice from trusted sources and come to the best conclusion for our family. All that being said, it can become confusing with the endless information and misinformation out there. 

Misinformation surrounding COVID vaccines spreads just as fast, if not faster, than the virus itself, making it extremely important to filter out the facts from reputable sources. 

Here are the facts:

  • 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.

Everyone vaccinated and 12+ should get a booster. A booster is an extra dose that makes it more likely that your antibodies can help protect you against severe illness. 

The Safety of COVID Vaccines

While severe illness due to COVID in kids is rare, it does happen. We are all pining for the days when our children will be able to attend a normal school year without interruptions. We long for the carefree visits with grandparents and playdates, sporting events, and family travels. Vaccines and boosters are your best protection from COVID and make it safer for our families and friends to gather together.

COVID vaccines are safe.

  • Millions of Americans have safely received the vaccine under the most rigorous safety monitoring in U.S. history.
  • Children 5-11 are given a smaller dose that has been specially tailored for younger children. Those 12 and older are given the same dosage as adults.

The side effects of the vaccine or other potential problems of the vaccine are important to understand.

  • Temporary side effects are typical for both kids and adults who receive the vaccine. These side effects may 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 potential risks from side effects of the vaccine.
  • A COVID vaccine cannot make a person sick with COVID. The vaccine does not contain any live virus, so it is impossible for it to infect you or your child with the virus. The vaccine does not change or interact with your DNA in any way.
  • There is no evidence that a COVID vaccine causes fertility problems or problems for pregnant women or their fetuses.
  • 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. These cases are rare, and most have responded well to medical treatment and rest.

Due to the importance, making health-related choices for your family can feel overwhelming. However, the information available shows that the benefits of COVID vaccines far outweigh any potential risks, in both children and adults.

Where can you get a COVID Vaccine?

COVID vaccines are readily available for both adults and kids and 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 the lives we long for. We owe it to our kids, and ourselves, to our teachers, front-line workers, and our community as a whole; to work together in order to end this pandemic. We CAN do this!

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