We Can Do This: Protecting Our Kids

This content was paid for by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Kansas City Mom Collective is proud to support the effort to share facts about COVID-19 vaccines. For more information or to find vaccines near you, visit vaccines.gov; text your ZIP code to 438829 (GETVAX); or call 1-800-232-0233.

In the early days of the pandemic, it felt like our only defense was staying home. We chalked the sidewalks with messages of hope. We dropped off gifts for our neighbors (from six feet away) as a thank you for their sacrifice. We rallied our resources, shared our best at-home school ideas and passed around sourdough starter.

When school began again, our family opted to keep our oldest home doing virtual school and we prayed big prayers for our youngest two returning to a classroom. My husband and I drove two hours away to get our vaccines and cried tears of joy.

Later that year, our oldest boys signed up for a vaccine trial — not only providing a small amount of relief for our family knowing they were protected but giving us yet another way to help our community by moving the science forward.

My boys celebrating after receiving their second dose!

When we had the opportunity to get our 5-year-old vaccinated a few months ago, along with my husband and I boosted, we finally had full-house protection.

As we step into 2022, we are still fighting the same enemy. But this time we have powerful tools to protect our families, neighbors and communities. The decision to vaccinate your family comes with nuances and personal considerations. I am excited for our partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help share the facts with the hope this will make the decision easier for you and your family.

Just the FACTS on COVID and Vaccines

The Vaccines Work

COVID vaccines help protect from severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

Safety is a Top Priority

Hundreds of millions of people have safely received COVID vaccines under the most rigorous safety monitoring in U.S. history. COVID vaccines are the most closely monitored vaccines in U.S. history and are being monitored just as closely in children.

Children are at Risk

Children are four times more likely to be hospitalized from COVID if they live in a state with low vaccination rates compared to states with high vaccination rates.

The good news is all Americans ages 5 and older are eligible to receive vaccines!

Your children ages 5 and older can get the same safe, effective protection from COVID that hundreds of millions of American adults have received. While it’s rare for children to become seriously ill from COVID, it is possible and hospitalization rates are only rising. Coupled with the fact that experts aren’t sure what the long-term impacts of COVID infection are, it’s clear that protection measures need to be taken.

Because of this, CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics both recommend all children 5 and older get a COVID vaccine as soon as possible. COVID vaccines are given to children ages 5-11 in a smaller dose that has been tailored for younger children.

What about side effects?

In clinical trials like the ones my boys enrolled in, children had the same kinds of temporary side effects that adults have. Give me a day or two of feeling under the weather instead of a week off from activities, school, and work from COVID illness – or even worse, a hospital stay.

So, how do I get my kiddo vaccinated?

Finding vaccines is easier than ever! Vaccines are free, regardless of your health insurance or immigration status. To find vaccines near you, visit vaccines.gov; text your ZIP code to 438829 (GETVAX); or call 1-800-232-0233. You can also check with your child’s pediatrician or even school district — many are offering vaccine clinics!

While I do cling to the feeling of those early days where despite the unknowns and fear, we rallied together with our bread making and Zoom parties, I am even more grateful that by getting our families vaccinated we can truly protect each other.

Together, We Can Do This!

For more information or to find vaccines near you, visit vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829 (GETVAX), or call 1-800-232-0233.

Sarah grew up in Manhattan, Kansas (Go Cats!), she moved to Minnesota where she met her husband, Shea. Realizing how much she hated snow in May, she convinced him to move to Kansas City in 2010. Together they have lived in Midtown, Waldo, the Plaza, and now Overland Park. Sarah is mom to 10-year-old, Henry, 7-year-old Clark and 5-year-old Lucy. She has her master’s in urban administration and is passionate about making Kansas City a more equitable and supportive community. In between the crazy, she likes to drink coffee, run, hike, travel as much as possible, and experience all things Kansas City!

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