How To Speak To Your Children’s About Receiving Vaccination

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : October 12, 2021

What parents all across the nation have been hoping for has arrived: Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer with BioNTech announced on Thursday that they are requesting an emergency use permission for its Covid-19 vaccination for children aged 5 to 11 from the United States Food and Drug Administration.

For the data to find its way through the FDA’s procedures and be approved for use in children by the agency and then by the US Centers for Disease and Prevention, it may take several weeks to complete the process.

How To Speak To Your Children’s About Receiving Vaccination

In the meanwhile, parents’ thoughts are already racing about how to arrange for their kid to get a vaccination and what they should tell them about the experience afterward.

The media approached Dr. David Hill, a pediatrician and child development specialist, to answer questions that parents and children alike would want to know the answers to.

How To Speak To Your Children's About Receiving Vaccination

In addition to serving as a co-host of the US Academy of Pediatrics’ flagship podcast “Pediatrics on Call,” Hill served as the organization’s Council on Communications chair for a period of time. Because of the nature of the discussion, it has been minimally modified for clarity.

What are your thoughts on whether youngsters between the ages of 5 and 11 will be too worried about receiving the Covid-19 vaccination?

Dr. David Hill: I’d want to thank you for your time. As far as children are concerned, this is simply another vaccination, another injection in the arm. The way adults in their life frame the event will have a significant impact on how they respond, if not entirely determine how they will react themselves. They will definitely pick up on our feelings of apprehension, mistrust, or anxiety. They will catch up on our feelings of confidence and relief if we communicate them to them. And children are constantly paying attention, even when we believe they are not doing so.

According to your experience as a doctor, what do you believe is the most common concern a kid has about receiving a vaccination of any kind?

Hill: The number one thing that I hear is, by far, “I don’t want this to cause any discomfort. What is the extent of the discomfort?” First and foremost, I never lie to children. I never tell them that it isn’t going to hurt at all or that they will feel anything because it is just not true.

When is it likely that your child will be able to receive a vaccination? The following is an example of how the Covid-19 injections for children aged 5 to 11 could be introduced.

When is it likely that your child will be able to receive a vaccination? 

Here’s what the introduction of Covid-19 Injections for Children between the ages of 5 and 11 might look like. You would like to be completely honest. Saying something like, “You realize what, it’s going to really hurt a little bit, but it isn’t going to hurt as much as some of the other things that occur to you regularly, like falling down while jogging or spraining your toe” comes to mind.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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