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On the Horizon for Public Health: Having confidence in science

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Marcia Schroeder
We are part of The Trust Project.

I have a fundamental, genuine confidence that my bank will protect my money and that my cell phone service will provide the connections I need. I have a sincere confidence that my healthcare provider will give me honest information and care based on scientific research. I believe that banks, phone companies, doctors and scientists have my best interests in mind. In our complex world, having confidence in the people who are experts in their fields makes my life easier.

I’m taking a leap—from confidence in everyday things to confidence in science in particular. Do you know, the potential risk for a rare, adverse reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine is far less than the known risks of getting COVID-19 disease with its possible severe and long lasting compilations?

It’s true.

COVID-19 vaccine is now available and recommended for everyone six months and older. Here are six things to know about COVID-19 vaccinations for children.

1. COVID-19 vaccination for children is safe. Before recommending COVID-19 vaccination for children, scientists conducted clinical trials. Then the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined COVID-19 vaccines were safe and effective for everyone six months and older. Ongoing safety monitoring shows that COVID-19 vaccination continues to be safe.

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2. Getting vaccinated can help protect children against COVID-19. Vaccinating children can prevent them from getting seriously sick if they do get COVID-19. Just like in older children and adults, the vaccine protects against severe disease and hospitalization. There is no way to tell in advance how children will be affected by COVID-19. Children with underlying medical conditions are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19, but healthy children without underlying medical conditions can also experience severe illness. The July 7 Centers For Disease Control (CDC) data shows over 135,000 children 0-17 years old have been hospitalized with COVID-19 and more than 1,600 have died in the U.S.* Getting children vaccinated gives parents greater confidence for their children to participate in childcare and school and in sports, playdates, and other group activities.

3. Children may have some side effects after COVID-19 vaccination. Reported side effects are mild, temporary and like those experienced after other routine vaccines. Children may feel tired, have a slight fever or pain at the injection site. Side effects are more common after the second dose. Some children will have no side effects.

4. Children receive a smaller dose of COVID-19 vaccine than teens and adults. COVID-19 vaccine dosage is based on age on the day of vaccination, not on a child’s size or weight. This is also true for other routinely recommended vaccines like hepatitis A and B.

5. Children who have already had COVID-19 should still get vaccinated. More and more scientific evidence indicates that all ages of people get added protection against COVID-19 disease by getting vaccinated after being infected with the virus.

6. Children can safely receive other vaccines the same day they receive their COVID-19 vaccine. In Minnesota, children’s vaccination rates have fallen in the past two years. This is concerning because it gives diseases like measles and polio opportunities to infect the unvaccinated. Routine vaccinations should not be delayed. You can have the same confidence in COVID-19 vaccines that you have in routine vaccines. Call your healthcare provider to schedule COVID-19 vaccinations for your children, and to bring them up-to-date on all routine vaccines.

*The CDC information can be found here: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#new-hospital-admissions or https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-

Marcia Schroeder is a registered nurse with Horizon Public Health, which serves five counties, including Douglas County. Contact Schroeder at marcias@horizonph.org.

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