Tips for parents considering COVID-19 vaccine for kids

little girl getting vaccinated

This article appeared in FOX 17. Read more here

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) signed off on COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as six months old.

The CDC and FDA both say the vaccine is safe and effective for children, so Spectrum Health is ramping up the rollout.

FOX 17 talked with Dr. Rosemary Olivero, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, who says this approval came at a great time.

“I think it’s actually quite interesting. Over the past six months or so, especially with the Omicron surge in the state of Michigan and throughout the United States, that actually, children in the age group where they have not had access to the vaccine have actually made up the majority of children who have been hospitalized with COVID-19,” said Dr. Olivero.

Dr. Olivero encourages families to get their kids vaccinated.

“At the current time, COVID-19 is the fifth leading causing of death in our children less than five, so it’s not insignificant,” added Dr. Olivero.

Spectrum Health says it wants to make the vaccination process as easy as possible. The health system’s primary care offices already are offering the Pfizer vaccine, a three-dose series that’s spread out over three months.

Several sites received vaccine deliveries Monday, with more expected Tuesday.

The Moderna vaccine will be available at Spectrum’s urgent care facilities starting next week. That’s a two-dose series, with shots given one month apart.

“I would say get whatever you can get. I think vaccination over no vaccination is far and away superior than rolling the dice or relying on prior natural immunity. Both [vaccines] have a good safety profile from the data that was provided to the FDA, and my preference would be that you get vaccinated sooner rather than later,” Dr. Olivero told FOX 17.

Health experts do want parents to be aware of possible side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine.

Pain, swelling or redness at the injection site are possible, as well as fever, fatigue and irritability after receiving the vaccine.

Health experts say if families are hesitant about the vaccine or if they have questions, they should contact their child’s pediatrician.

You can also check out the CDC’s website, which has easy-to-understand information about the COVID-19 vaccine.

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I Vaccinate provides information and tools based on real medical science and research to help Michigan parents protect their kids. Support is provided by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Franny Strong Foundation.

You’ve got questions. That’s a good thing.

As parents, determining how best to protect our children can be overwhelming and confusing. We’re here to help.

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