Children Above 5 Years of Age in USA Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccination


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in the U.S. is the only available

shot for these kids. Getting your child, the

not only helps curb the viral spread but also helps them engage in other school activities crucial to their physical and mental health.

from 3rd January 2022 (“all those whose birth year is 2007 or before”).

However, these groups would be eligible for “Covaxin” (Bharat Biotech’s inactivated COVID-19 vaccine) only as per the Union Health Ministry, India.



Tips for COVID-19 Shot

Some of the tips that might be followed to ensure a preparation checklist for your child’s COVID-19 vaccination are:



  • Consult your child’s primary care doctor or pediatrician regarding the vaccination and clarify your concerns, if any.

  • You may schedule your child’s COVID-19 vaccination appointment (some facilities also provide walk-in hours).

  • There are no contraindications to receiving other routine shots (like annual influenza shot) with the COVID-19 shot for your child.

  • If a child completes their first shot, ensure retaining the copy of the vaccination card in their medical record, school, or college health offices.

  • Do not laminate the card in case further information is to be added. Keep the documents safe for future references.

  • Ensure timely appointment for the second dose. Two weeks after the second shot, the child is considered fully vaccinated.

  • Despite completing the full dose, ensure COVID-appropriate behaviors like wearing a face mask, physical distancing, and limited gatherings to ensure safety for high-risk groups.



Prepare Your Child

Your child may also throw tantrums or fear concerning needles. Every one in five children (19%) among the age group of 4 to 6 years and one in nine (11%) among the age group of 10 to 11 years have a needle phobia (fear), unlike adults, where only 3.5% to 10% have the needle phobia.

Hence, it is important to prepare and calm your child well in advance before getting them jabbed. You may consider options like:


  • Engage yourself to fully address any fears or questions and seek their responses about COVID-19 vaccines.

  • Reassure your child and help them understand how vaccines work in a kid-friendly way. For example, vaccines work as a shield by protecting you from an illness.

  • Validate your child’s feelings and make them feel supported. Consider telling things like ‘it’s okay to feel worried about it. A lot of people do. All feelings are okay. It’s my job to be here to help you be more comfortable,’ says Mary Rumple, CCLS, CEIM, child life specialist at the University of Michigan Health C.S. Mott Children.

  • Communication is the key. Be patient and try erasing out their misinformation and uncertainties concerning the pandemic.

  • A child has the right to know the correct information. Hence, be honest with them in explaining things in an age-appropriate manner, considering their emotional cues.

  • Refrain from oversharing your own uncomforting and fearful emotions with your little one. It might pose more difficulty and anxiety to your child.

  • One may also consider rehearsing/practicing the vaccination procedure at home in a playful manner to help calm the nerves of their anxious child and establish comfort.

  • You may use phrases like: “Walk your child through the play-by-play of what to expect. First, we’ll check in with a helper who will ask for your name. Then they may ask us to sit and wait. When it’s our turn, we’ll meet our nurse, and she’ll show us where we can sit. The nurse will wash an area of your arm to make sure there are no germs. This may feel cold, and the wipe might smell like hand sanitizer. Next, you’ll get your vaccine through a small poke —you may feel a little pressure or pinch, but it will be quick! Then, you’ll get a Band-Aid, and it’s all done,” says Rumple.

  • Other comfort measures like topical numbing creams and sprays can also be used to limit the needle pain.

  • You may bring along a child’s favorite toy or other soothing items like a sticker pack, or handheld games to keep them in relaxed company.

  • Holding your child in a chest-to-chest hug position on your lap may help reduce the fear in the child (rather than letting them be distracted by strangers).

  • You may also plan for a reward after the vaccination and compliment them with a hug to make it a joyful and positive experience for your kid.

  • Consider using alternate words for a negative undertone, like “pinch,” “poke,” or “immunization” instead of “pain”, “shot” or “vaccines”. This will allow the kids to construct an optimistic story about their experiences.

  • In case of severe distress to the child, you may consider seeking help from qualified child-life therapists, play therapists, or child psychologists who may help build a trusting relationship and desensitize the child to medical equipment.

As the world continues its fights against the COVID-19, it is important to ensure protection for everyone, including, kids to curb the fatality rate.





References:

  1. Tips on preparing your child for the COVID-19 vaccine – (https://www.osfhealthcare.org/blog/tips-on-preparing-your-child-for-the-covid-19-vaccine/)
  2. 5 ways to prepare your child for the COVID vaccine
    (https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/childrens-health/5-ways-to-prepare-your-child-for-covid-vaccine)
  3. Tips on Preparing Children Ages 5-11 for COVID-19 Vaccination
    (https://www.aha.org/vaccine-stories/tips-preparing-children-ages-5-11-covid-19-vaccination)
  4. Guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination of children between
    15-18 years and precaution dose to HCWs, FLWs & 60+
    population with comorbidities – (https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/GuidelinesforCOVID19VaccinationofChildrenbetween15to18yearsandPrecautionDosetoHCWsFLWs&60populationwithcomorbidities.pdf)
  5. COVID Vaccination For Kids: 5 Ways to Prepare Your Child For The Vaccination
    (https://www.india.com/health/covid-vaccination-for-kids-5-ways-to-prepare-your-child-for-the-vaccination-5169962/)
  6. COVID Vaccine Checklist for Kids Age 5-11
    (https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/Getting-Your-Child-Ready-for-the-COVID-19-Vaccine.aspx)
  7. How to talk to your children about COVID-19 vaccines
    (https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/how-to-talk-to-children-covid-vaccines)
  8. Tips to Prepare Your Child for a COVID-19 Vaccine
    (https://www.lvhn.org/news/tips-prepare-your-child-covid-19-vaccine)

Source: Medindia



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