Talking to Your Child About the COVID-19 Vaccine

It's so easy to get overwhelmed by the constant flow of information coming in about the COVID-19 vaccine. The good news is that it's not just speculation anymore. It's actually being rolled out. SO, for the first time in this awful situation, there may be a real end in sight. That means, we, as parents, need to help our kiddos understand the current state of the pandemic and inform them about what the vaccine means for our community. This will allow them to arm themselves with proper information, so they aren't bogged down by any false hope that the virus is gone or assumptions that a vaccine equals an immediate return to normal.

Our friends over at VeryWell Family along with Ashley Wood, RN, BSN, and contributor at Demystifying Your Health, have answered a few tough questions for you and your children. Just make sure when you sit them down to chat, you're patient, attentive, and understanding of their fears, confusion, and persistent eagerness to return to normal.

Is it safe?

Without doubt, the COVID-19 vaccine has been pushed out faster than any vaccine in history. And while kids may not fully understand that, they’ve probably heard plenty of talk about it. "It’s important to share that while the development process has been quick, it has been done safely," says Wood. "All possible measures have been taken to ensure that no harm will come to those who take it."

Safety trials have still taken place, just on an accelerated timeline. What’s more, vaccines to treat similar strains of coronavirus have been in the works for many years, so even the COVID-19 vaccine isn’t an entirely new

When can I get it?

This is a tough question to answer since there are many different factors to consider. The CDC has recommended that initial supplies of the vaccine be allocated to healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities, followed by the following groups:

  • Frontline essential workers

  • People aged 75 and older

  • People aged 65-74 years

  • People aged 16-64 years with underlying medical conditions

  • Other essential workers

Once there is more availability, the CDC will provide guidelines about who should be vaccinated next.

Additionally, it is only in the last couple months that clinical trials began testing the vaccine on children 12 and older. Until more trials and more data are available regarding the effects and efficacy of the vaccine on young children, kids will not be eligible to take a vaccine. If your child has no health concerns that could increase susceptibility to COVID symptoms, their wait may be even longer.