My 11-Year-Old's First COVID-19 Vaccine: Our Experience & His Advice for Other Kids by Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
- I felt gratitude for science and scientists.
- I felt pride for my son who smiled while receiving his shot because he felt he was doing the right thing, not just for himself but for others, too.
- I felt relief because after 20 months of worrying about my kids’ health, I can finally worry less and we can begin doing more activities, seeing more family and friends.
- I felt happiness because soon my family will be completely vaccinated, and I’ve learned that good health (and health care) should not be taken for granted.
- Finally, I felt sadness for those who are not so fortunate.
My husband and I knew that we wanted our boys (ages 15 and 11) to be vaccinated, but they wanted to get the vaccine as well. My 11-year-old said he wanted to do so to “be protected from COVID, to protect others, to go to the movies and to hang out with [his] friends more.”
The overall experience was easy and positive. We went online and booked an appointment at a local Walgreen’s pharmacy. When we arrived for the appointment, I filled out a short form which was given to the pharmacist. He met with us in a private room for patients. There he asked my son which arm he preferred, and then administered the vaccine. It was quick and easy, and my son never even flinched. The pharmacist gave him a piece of candy and he ate it while he sat and waited the recommended 15 minutes, to make sure he didn’t have a reaction. He didn’t, so we headed out to a special lunch date, just the two of us. It’s been two days now and he hasn’t had any reaction to the vaccine.
I asked my son what he would tell another child about the experience, especially if they were feeling nervous about getting the vaccine. His response: “Your arm may be a little sore but the shot is quick and you hardly even feel it.” His words of wisdom sound similar to Bird Bird's recent tweet following the announcement of his own vaccination: “… My wing is feeling a little sore, but it’ll give my body an extra protective boost that keeps me and others healthy.”
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Good on ya, @BigBird. Getting vaccinated is the best way to keep your whole neighborhood safe.
— President Biden (@POTUS) November 8, 2021
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