Book Your Child’s Back-to-School Vaccinations Now
New backpack, No. 2 pencils and a COVID-19 vaccine.
This fall, more than any other school year, it’s important to think ahead about booking appointments for vaccinations as you plan for your child’s return to school.
While some children may be due for a Tdap, meningococcal or other required booster shot, parents of every student age 12 and up should consider a COVID-19 vaccine. If your child has diabetes, asthma or any immune-compromising condition, it’s especially important to get vaccinated.
“With schools reopening, you want to protect your children and make every attempt to return their lives to normal. Our children need to be able to go to back to school, play sports and see their friends and family. This is most important for their present and future wellness,” says Aparna Roy, MD, MPH, a Pediatric Critical Care physician and the Interim Chair of Pediatrics.
With many schools starting in August and the continued spread of the highly infectious Delta variant, now is the time to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine to protect your child this fall. The Pfizer vaccine – the only approved option to date for children age 12 to 17 – requires two doses, three weeks apart. And, maximum protection isn’t reached until two weeks after the second shot:
Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Schedule
Day 1 - Dose 1
Day 21 - Dose 2
Day 35 - Full protection
The vaccine’s side effects tend to be mild and managed with rest, acetaminophen or ibuprofen following vaccination. While serious but rare side effects are possible, including myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the sac around the heart), the benefits of protection from COVID-19 far outweigh the risks.
“The risk of these side effects is extremely rare and most cases were mild and have fully recovered,” Dr. Roy says. “COVID-19 infection itself can cause heart damage, including myocarditis and MIS-C, a multisystem inflammatory complication of COVID-19. The vaccine protects against COVID-19 and COVID-19 variants which we are seeing are spreading more quickly and causing more severe disease.”
Schedule an appointment for a free COVID-19 vaccine here. Walk-ins are also welcome.