Unlike the mass vaccination sites for adults, many parents are opting for more intimate vaccinations for their children — preferring one-on-one discussions with their provider, looking for assurance.
“The vaccine side effects are very similar for kids as they are for adults,” said Rock Island County Health Department Chief Operating Officer Janet Hill.
Dr. Julie Stecher — a pediatrician in Iowa — says, so far, she is unaware of any reported adverse reactions.
“I’ve not seen any real adverse reaction to it. None in the clinic,” said Stecher. “We haven’t had any cases that I know of in the ER through Genesis. We’ve administered over 200 doses.”
Pfizer says side effects would be similar to the adult dose.
“Mild site of injection pain. Maybe a mild fever. Maybe some tiredness,” said Hill.
While the side effects may be the safe as adults, the process of vaccinating as many children as adults is not, according to Hill.
“Because of the logistics of it, it’s really hard to do mass vaccination with kids because you can’t have a big, open room where one kid sees a needle, freaks out and then freaks out the entire room,” said Hill.
Doctor Stecher encourages vaccinations.
“The impact that COVID has had — both on the health of children, their parents, their grandparents, everybody that they know, as well as the mental health impact — it’s really causing a major mental health impact on kids for their activities. The restriction, the isolation, so I want to get out of this pandemic faster than anybody else does as well.”
Rock Island County reported 143 infections of COVID-19 since the beginning of the week — 1 in 5 of those infections were in children under the age of 13.
The county’s health department is currently working to increase the number of clinics available to children ages 5 to 11.