Moms’ Perspective: The COVID Vaccine for Our Kids

More than 28 million children in the United States are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine after a Pfizer vaccine was shown to be more than 90 percent effective against symptomatic infection. As parents consider whether or not to vaccinate their kids, we figured it’d be helpful to hear from some of the KCMC moms on the choices they’re making for their own families.

For answers to questions about the vaccine, please read our FAQ with Children’s Mercy physicians.


Brie Hilton

Brie Hilton

“Having the pediatric vaccine so close to approval feels like hope after 18 long months. It’s like finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel for our kids who we’ve spent so much more time protecting than we ever imagined. I can’t wait and I might just break down in happy tears when they get their shots!”

 Franchesca DayFranchesca Day | Kansas City Mom Collective Contributor

“I have three out of four children that will meet the new requirements for vaccinations.
My husband and I are excited that this has now made its way to them. While we are worried about having three kids experience the possible and common side effects such as sore arms and a few days of flu like symptoms, we favor these side effects over the risk of having full blown COVID come through our home. We are most looking forward to resuming our children’s education in an uninterrupted way. We are excited that this puts them closer to seeing all their friends at lunch and on the playground. We understand that this pandemic has changed the world forever but we are happy with the opportunity to get back some of what was lost.”

Laura Mulcahy | Kansas City Mom Collective Sales DirectorLaura Mulcahy

“As my oldest son approached his 12th birthday this summer, I had many questions about vaccinating him for COVID-19. My initial reaction was that he had natural immunity from his previous COVID-19 infection back in February, so he didn’t need it. He felt the same way. At his 12-year well-check, we asked our pediatrician his thoughts. He shared with us that he vaccinated his own daughters and would recommend it for his eligible patients, including those with prior infection. He explained to us that natural immunity only lasts so long and may not protect you against variants. That was enough to convince me as this was someone who I have trusted with my kids health for the past 12 years and also treated my kids when they had COVID. Michael needed a little more persuasion, but ultimately decided to move forward with vaccination after learning that he wouldn’t have to quarantine after exposure anymore. For him, that meant a little more freedom and sense of relief as he was quarantined on multiple occasions last school year. He is now fully vaccinated and experienced minimal side effects. He was extremely fatigued after the second dose and took a nap…his first one since the good old says when he was a toddler! I will confidently vaccinate my younger two children as soon as I’m able!”


JiaoJiao Shen

“I am eagerly waiting for the vaccine to be approved for my six-year-old. This pandemic was an opportunity for us to emphasize to our children our collective role in our community. We must all do our part to protect one another. It also reiterated our belief in science and the experts who spend their careers learning about the human body so they can make informed decisions rooted in science about the best path forward during the uncertainty of a public health crisis. I trust our doctors and other public health experts so when they say a vaccine is approved for my children, we will be there to get it.”

Emily GaffordEmily Gafford | Kansas City Mom Collective Contributor
“This has been a hot topic of conversation at our house! My daughter wants to get it, and initially I wanted it as soon as possible but now having a few reservations. If it meant no more masks, I would do it immediately so they could get back to normal learning. She will get it, but we may not be the first ones in line. Being 6, all she knows is COVID and masks in school. I think growing up at such a pivotal age during a pandemic, these kids are terrified of COVID. Now that there is a vaccine, they want it!”

Victoria Rose | Kansas City Mom Collective ContributorVictoria Rose

“It feels like ages since this entire pandemic started. As a family of educators and two of our three children being school aged, we’ve been weathering the storm of in-person/hybrid/remote school for the past 18 months with a fatigue that at times is unspeakable. The chance for our 5 and 7 year old to be vaccinated feels like a hopeful and tangible step towards concrete protection. The other morning, as we all bustled around the house before loading up for school and work, my 7 year old expressed how tired she is of this pandemic. All I could do was validate her feelings. We are all simultaneously tired of and grateful for the precautions that have kept us safe up to this point. We are also all so ready for life to feel less anxious and more carefree.”


Karen Arokiasamy

“I have trepidation about many things. Many, many things. But one thing I have zero trepidation about is getting my 10-year-old vaccinated against COVID. At the beginning of my corporate career, I worked with a pediatric vaccine purchasing program, around the same time that dangerous misinformation was being distributed about vaccines causing harm in children. It was the birth of the modern anti-vax movement, although at the time, it just seemed like a few folks who had public platforms and were using that privilege to spread misinformation. I worked directly with pediatric healthcare offices associated with some of the most prestigious children’s hospitals in the United States who were doing their best to combat the misinformation and keep deadly diseases — diseases that we’d eradicated long ago — out of our children and our communities.

“Fast forward to now — now it’s different. Now, I am a parent. I have a child who will benefit from this vaccine, just as he has from all the other vaccines in the pediatric schedule that he has received since birth. This is our family’s time to finally breathe a small sigh of relief and gratitude, placing another token of trust and faith in science and in the researchers who have been fervently working to help all of us to a place of protection and safety. Our family has been impatiently waiting and we will be some of the first in line to get our son vaccinated and celebrate in the wonder and miracle of science and medicine.”

Pamela De La FuentePamela de la Fuente | Kansas City Mom Collective Contributor

“‘We’re getting the vaccine, right?’ My husband has asked this a billion times about our 6-year-old son. ‘Yes, we’ve already talked about it.’ I understand why some people have qualms about getting their kids vaccinated, but I don’t. Illnesses hit my little guy hard. I don’t want to know what COVID would do. And, I’d like him to have a shot of not wearing a mask to school his entire elementary school career. I’ve been asking my pediatrician about it, and one of my old neighbors, a doctor of color, was on a team researching the kids’ vaccine. I’m ready. Even though I had to hold him down for his flu shot, she said he wants it, too. I asked him if he wanted the vaccine. He said yes. ‘Because I hate the Coronavirus so much. I hate it!’ Me too, kiddo. Now I’m counting the days to when my 3-year-old can get vaccinated, too.”


Jen ChristensenJen Christensen | Kansas City Mom Collective Contributor

“The fact that ALL of my immediate family members may actually be vaccinated by Thanksgiving has me positively giddy! Getting together with extended family during the holidays is so important to us. Knowing that everyone will have that extra level of protection makes me relieved and so grateful for science. When our son was eligible at age 12, he didn’t hesitate to ask for the vaccine. Now our daughter is excited her chance is coming. Not only will this keep her safe around family, but around friends and classmates too. Every time she’s at school, youth group, Girl Scouts, wherever, we worry. Is this going to be the time she’s accidentally exposed? Is her sore throat related to COVID? I can’t wait to not always worry. Sure, we know we can still get COVID even if we’re vaccinated. But the risk of hospitalization or lifelong health issues is greatly diminished. And for that, I am so, so thankful.”


Jollene Hastings

Jollene Hastings“I have been anxiously awaiting when my young children can get the COVID vaccine. It is music to my ears that this will soon be a reality for my 6-year-old son. He is knowledgeable about the pandemic and aware that he will be eligible to get his vaccine soon. We explain it as a safety jacket; it doesn’t make us immune, but it is an added layer of safety to protect us from extreme effects of the virus. Sure, there is some nervousness, but he wants his turn to put on his safety jacket. As parents, my husband and I are confident in our diligent efforts to stay informed, which leaves us with little hesitation for our kids to get vaccinated. More importantly, we believe in science and vaccines.”


Julia Willhite

Julia Willhite | Kansas City Mom Collective Contributor

“We are privileged that we haven’t worried too much about them getting COVID, but for many families the health of their children has been a major concern. I just spoke with a friend whose daughter can’t get vaccinated due to a medical issue, but getting COVID could be very risky for her. They won’t be able to relax and let their guard down for a really long time, if ever. So when I take my kids for their shots I will remember a big reason we are opting to get vaccinated is to help protect those that will remain vulnerable. It is the least we can do.”

 


Clinical Trial Participants

Ali Liggett

“We chose to put our daughter in the COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial because we believe in science. We put her in the clinical trial because we know there are many kids that would benefit from this vaccine. We have trusted science to keep her safe from measles, mumps, and rubella. And from chicken pox, the flu and polio. All of these vaccines were in trials to make sure it was safe enough for my child, so we wanted to do the same. This isn’t controversial to us — it’s just common sense. We believe in science, and we believe in vaccines. This trial will save lives and our daughter participating in it will save lives. Next time your child takes a vaccine or medicine, please remember to thank the children and families that participated in the trials to approve those.”

Sarah McGinnitySarah McGinnity, Owner, Kansas City Mom Collective

“We allowed our sons to enroll in the Moderna COVID-19 kids vaccine trial because we trust the science behind these vaccines. They made the brave choice to participate, and help science move forward so all kids can be protected. We had a few days of side effects after the second shot – mild fever, chills and arm pain. It was well worth a few days of discomfort to know they are protected from the potential long-term effects for a COVID infection. We have breathed easier knowing they will avoid a severe infection, and we can’t wait for our community to have the opportunity for that same protection and relief.”

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