If you are preparing to send your child back to the classroom this fall, you may have questions about vaccinating them against COVID-19. It’s OK to have questions. Reliable sources of information include the CDC, the FDA and OHA’s website. For personal questions, your health care provider is your best source for you and your family. They have firsthand knowledge of the vaccine, how it works and what sort of side effects it may have.
With most of Oregon’s schools starting on Sept. 7, this week is a good time to make a plan to vaccinate your child. The Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine authorized for those 12 to 17 years of age. Vaccination with Pfizer requires a first shot, followed by a three-week wait for the second shot, then another two weeks before reaching full immunity — a total of five weeks.
Acquiring full immunity sooner will better protect your child from catching COVID-19, including the Delta variant.
Here are some things to know about vaccinating your child:
- COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
- COVID-19 vaccines have been used under the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history, which includes studies in adolescents.
- Your child can’t get COVID-19 from any COVID-19 vaccine, including the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
- Your child may get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines at the same visit or without waiting 14 days between vaccines. This is great time to get kids up-to-date on their routine immunizations.
If you have more questions and talking to your health care provider isn’t an option for you, here are some other resources that can help you decide:
- Toolkit for parents and people under 18
- Boost Oregon has a mission to empower people to make science-based vaccine decisions for themselves, their families, and the community.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- OHSU Doernbecher
When you decide it’s time to get the vaccine for your child, you can find a vaccine in Oregon here.
This article first appeared in the July 29, 2021 issue of Oregon Coronavirus Update.