The vaccination approval for children as young as 12 years old provides parents with more than just the chance to protect their children from COVID-19. It allows them to serve as a guide.
Spread The Word About COVID-19 Vaccination Amongst Small Children
Adolescents might be thinking if vaccines are healthy or even required. They may also be dealing with contradictory facts on these topics from their peers.
That is why, according to Francesca Penner, a clinical psychology resident at Yale University’s Child Study Center in New Haven, Connecticut, the most vital thing a parent should do right now is listening. Hearing them out is the most important thing, according to Penner, and there are so many factors on what children might be saying.
Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine was cleared for emergency use in children aged between 12 and 15 by the Food and Drug Administration on Monday. The Center’s for Disease Control and Prevention followed suit on Wednesday, making the vaccine available to this younger age population immediately.
According to the CDC’s director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, this official CDC action opens vaccination to nearly 17 million teenagers in the United States and increases the nation’s attempt to shield many more people from the effects of COVID-19. Having teenagers vaccinated allows them to return to social activities sooner and gives parents and caregivers peace of mind that their family is healthy.
Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are currently being tested for children under the age of 18. An infectious diseases specialist, Dr. Kristin Moffitt, at Boston Children’s Hospital, predicts that wellbeing will be at the top of the list of issues for young teenagers.
She believes it is necessary for them to realize that there was a clinical study involving thousands of 12- to 15-year-olds, and the adverse effects were somewhat close to what was found in the 16- to 25-year-olds.
For most children, this included discomfort or swelling at the injection site. Some were developing low-grade fever, chills, exhaustion, or headaches in the 24 to 48 hours following vaccination, particularly after the second dose. This usually subsides within 24 hours and can be cured with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. However, peer pressure and social media can hinder delivering a straightforward message about protection.
According to Moffitt, parents should transform certain issues into learning opportunities. She mentioned that she has been discussing with her own kids, aged 11 and 14, the importance of obtaining medical knowledge from credible sources. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and the American Academy of Pediatrics are among the organizations she suggests.
Beyond that, she added, if they find their questions haven’t been answered, their pediatricians should be very well trained on these subjects to be able to further address their questions.
According to Penner, developmentally, teens are always primed to listen more to friends and peer-like personalities on social media than to authority figures. Parents can help to counteract this by setting a positive example.
Although older children now have a place in line for vaccines, younger children may be concerned about having to wait in their age group for consent. Therapy is an alternative if a child of any age exhibits symptoms of anxiety that conflict with their everyday life, according to Penner.
To sum up, a parent’s key duty while listening is to validate the child’s feelings and emotions by affirming what is real and correcting what is not, in a logical acceptable manner, as told by Penner. After all, the adult is the one who is most familiar with the child’s individual qualities.
Moffitt believes it is important to remind children that vaccines are intended to help save lives and keep patients out of the hospital. Concerns over side effects must be weighed against the risk of contracting COVID-19 and what that might mean not only for the individual getting vaccinated but also for their entire family, she said.