Two Nerdy Girls on the team took their kids 🚸 in the 12-15 year old age group to be vaccinated last week after the Pfizer vaccine 💉 was granted emergency use authorization-we asked them and their kids a few questions ❓about why they did and how it went!
What was your main reason for vaccinating your 12-15 year old?
Joanna: My kids (ages 14 and 17) and I live in NYC 🗽 where COVID took quite a toll. Last March and April, we heard sirens nonstop and would regularly see people being taken off in ambulances 🚑. We personally know several teenagers who got sick and/or have long-term COVID symptoms. I feel so grateful that there is a safe and effective COVID vaccine that can protect my teenagers in the same way they are protected against measles, rubella, or other serious illnesses.
Amanda: While severe complications from COVID-19 are less common among kids compared to adults-there is still a lot we don’t know about the potential long-term effects of this infection in kids (as well as adults). Regardless, I know that vaccinating my 12 year old helps build up a firewall 🔥 of protection for those who can’t get vaccinated yet (such as his two little brothers) or who might not be fully protected by vaccination (like people who are immunocompromised). I am excited and eager for him to be fully vaccinated by mid-June and able to enjoy the summer 🏊 with other fully vaccinated friends in his age group.
Were you worried about the safety of the vaccines? Why or why not?
Joanna: It did concern me that the vaccines were “made so fast” until I understood that the technology 🔬 behind the mRNA vaccines has been in development for many years, and it was the “red tape” (not the vaccine development or safety trials) that was sped up to make the vaccine available. It also helped knowing that 1) my children’s own doctors 🏥 were very comfortable with the safety profile, and were vaccinating their own kids, too and 2) that so many adults–including myself–had already been vaccinated with minimal or no side effects.
Amanda: As a parent, I totally get the fear that you might inadvertently put your child in harm’s way. No one ever wants to do that, and the thought of giving our kids seemingly “new” vaccines can be nerve racking. I felt assured, however, by the fact that mRNA technology has been in development for over a decade 📅, the vaccines went through all the usual steps of approval and safety monitoring, and millions of adults (and many teens) had been vaccinated by with the Pfizer vaccine with more than six months of data 📊 available on side effects and safety by the time it was authorized for use in my son’s age group.
What side effects, if any, did your child have after the first dose?
Joanna: My 14yo had a bit of a sore arm and also took a nap 😴 (although that was possibly because he stayed up way too late the night before!). My 17yo just had a sore arm. Really nothing, even compared to other vaccines they’ve had.
Amanda: Honestly, hardly any, except for the slightest bit of arm soreness 💪 and a little armpit pain during the first 48 hours post vaccination. The only other side effect was pure excitement 🎉at taking the first step to being fully vaccinated and getting some normalcy back. In true Nerdy offspring style, he’s also been having fun responding to his daily survey about side effects via the V-safe After Vaccination Health Checker App 📱( see more info here: https://www.cdc.gov/…/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/vsafe.html)!
What would you tell other parents who are not sure yet about whether to vaccinate their kids?
Joanna: I would tell them that they can trust the scientists who have worked for years on designing safe and effective vaccines like these. There is still a lot we don’t know about how COVID-19 affects kids long-term (even those who had mild or no symptoms when they were infected). It is a wonderful feeling to know my kids don’t have to worry now about being infected in the first place.
Amanda: I would say it is perfectly okay to have questions. If you have questions we haven’t answered about the vaccines yet, please keep them coming!
What did your 12-15 year old say about getting the vaccine?
Samuel: “I’m super happy I got it because I get to protect (younger, extended) 👶 family.”
Addison: “Let’s go! Does this mean I’ll be fully vaccinated by summer break 🌞?!”
What do they look forward to doing most once they are fully vaccinated?
Samuel: “I can’t wait to go to the movies with my friends to see A Quiet Place 2! 👹”
Addison: “Hanging out with my friends inside their house! 🏡”
We’d love to hear 👂 how it went for your kids who got vaccinated recently and what they are most looking forward to 💭 once they are fully vaccinated! Let us know in the comments!