by The We Can Do This COVID-19 Public Education Campaign
(NAPSI)—A dedicated group of moms has deployed across the country to help families with children of all ages figure out how to make important decisions around mitigating the risk of COVID and help answer questions that parents have on vaccination. City Mom Collective, a partner of the We Can Do This Campaign, is working with moms to collect questions from parents in their communities and then set up video interviews that aired on social media with local pediatricians and other health care professionals to respond to the most common questions.
“Parents are naturally concerned about decisions on whether to give their children the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr. LaTonya Washington, Chief Medical Officer at Methodist North Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. “A conversation with a trusted health care professional who takes time to address individual concerns can go a long way in helping them weigh the risks and benefits of getting a vaccine compared to the potential dangers of COVID.”
Here are the most common questions members of the City Mom Collective, an organization of local mom influencers who are located across the country, heard from their communities and responses from the doctors with whom they spoke:
Are COVID vaccines safe for kids? Do they really work? Yes. COVID vaccines have gone through rigorous testing and have been found to be safe and effective. Vaccines for children ages 5 to 11 are given in smaller doses tailored just for them and these vaccines work very well at what they were designed to do—protect children from getting seriously sick, being hospitalized, and even dying from COVID.
What short-term or long-term side effects will the COVID vaccines have on kids? Serious health effects from vaccines are very rare and side effects from vaccines are mild, such as having a sore arm or headache. These symptoms almost always go away within a few days. The benefits from COVID vaccines far outweigh any potential risk from vaccine side effects.
If kids get COVID, won’t they have natural immunity that would protect them just as much as the vaccines? Getting COVID can provide some level of protection—sometimes known as natural immunity—from reinfection by the COVID virus, but it is unclear how long this protection lasts. Additionally, children can still get COVID again even after having had COVID once. Since it’s impossible to know how COVID will affect children, vaccines are a much safer way to develop immunity to COVID. The risk of severe illness and death from the disease far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity.
Will kids need to get COVID vaccines regularly, like the flu shot? No one can be sure how COVID will evolve, but the tools that have been developed over the last two years—such as vaccines, masks, testing, and treatment—are helping families and communities move toward more normal lives.
Can COVID vaccines affect kids’ fertility? No. The vaccines have gone and are still going through vigorous monitoring, and no connection between COVID vaccines and infertility has been seen. The ingredients in the COVID vaccine are broken down in the body and cleared from the body within a few days, so there’s nothing in the vaccine that would affect fertility in the short or long run and no method by which the vaccine could cause infertility.
For further accurate, science-based information about vaccines, visit www.vaccines.gov.