Young children getting vaccinated


Joselin Corrales

Julissa Corrales is happy about receiving her first dose of the vaccine.

Over the past few months, we’ve seen an increase in COVID cases ever since the 2021-2022 school year began in the United States. The cases began to increase mostly from students in elementary and students in middle schools. Since the COVID vaccine was only available to people 12 years old and older, many of these younger students couldn’t get vaccinated. 

The only COVID vaccine available to young teenagers is Pfizer and until recently, it became available to kids ranging from ages 5 to 11. The new vaccine for these young children is called the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and it is a smaller dose than the one offered to teenagers 12 years of age and older. It is almost the same since they need to get two shots and they need them to be three weeks apart. Since this vaccine is still new, many students don’t feel well informed about it.

Julissa Corrales, an 11-year-old student said, “I know a little bit about the vaccine for kids my age. I learned most of what I know about them through my teachers since they talk about it a lot but I still don’t feel well informed.”

In the past month, there have been approximately 48,767,329 reported positive COVID cases in the United States. As the rise continues, many of the cases are coming from children. The most protection they had before the vaccine was wearing a mask, but now with the vaccine, they have more protection available for them. As children begin to get more informed about it, some believe it’s best to get it as soon as possible.

A 10-year-old student, Gisselle Rodriguez, expresses her thoughts on the vaccine by saying, “I think getting vaccinated is good because it can help stop the spread of the virus. I also think it’s great because kids my age or younger have a less chance of getting COVID.”

More than 60% of parents have shared their feelings on the vaccine and mention waiting a little longer on getting immunized or getting their children immunized anytime soon, said The Atlantic. Although many parents don’t want their kids to get the vaccine, there are others who believe otherwise. 

Celia Hernandez, mother of Julissa, stated, ¨I think letting my daughter get the vaccine is a good thing because she would be getting it for her own protection. Looking at the situation nowadays, I will encourage my daughter to get it but of course, it is her choice.¨

Nearly 10% of 5-11 year old children got their first dose in the first two weeks that it came out. Many children are still scared to get the vaccine or are afraid of something bad happening to them.

Corrales said, “I don’t think I’d get the vaccine just yet, I think I am going to wait a little more even though I know it can help protect me, I am still scared.”

There are also some other children who believe otherwise.

Rodriguez said, “I want to get the vaccine sometime soon because I want to be protected.”

Researchers say many children are scared of getting the vaccine mostly because of the side effects they get after. Some of the effects may be pain where you get injected (sore arm), tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, and fever. Most of these side effects are the same as the other vaccines made for older people.

Hernandez expresses her worries about her daughter getting bad side effects by saying, “I worry the side effects will get strong and she gets really sick. My other children didn’t get bad side effects when they got their vaccines, but since she’s younger, I worry she won’t be able to handle it.” 

Getting vaccinated has increased in the past year and letting children get vaccinated will decrease the amount of COVID cases. There are many parents who are still waiting a little longer for their children to get the vaccine but there are also some parents who hope other parents let their kids get it soon.

Hernandez said, “As parents, I think our responsibility is to protect our kids and if the vaccine is a way to protect them, we should let them get it. I insist parents think about it and choose to give them better protection.”