MAYFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) — More kids are getting vaccinated against COVID-19 as we head into the holiday season, but the Cleveland Clinic wants to make sure we don’t overlook flu season.
They say kids should get both vaccinations, like Brayden LoPiccolo.
Five-year-old Brayden LoPiccolo is halfway through his COVID-19 vaccination. His mother, Whitney, took him to get his first injection on November 9the.
“We have very busy lives and we do a lot of things on the weekends,” says Whitney LoPiccolo. “It gives me peace of mind to know that my oldest son is protected, especially during the holidays.”
LoPiccolo says her sons’ health is paramount. “I think every parent’s fear is a sick child. That’s something I don’t want, especially if there’s a way to prevent it.”
At this time, children over the age of 5 can receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Cleveland Clinic Children’s says children should be vaccinated against both COVID-19 and the flu. They allow children to get the COVID-19 vaccine at wellness appointments and they can get it at the same time as the flu shot.
“When we first started giving COVID-19 vaccines, we recommended spacing the vaccines as a precaution,” said Dr. Gina Robinson, a pediatrician at Cleveland Clinic Children’s. “Now that we’ve had more time and data, we realize it’s safe to do the COVID vaccine at the same time as other vaccines.”
For parents looking to get their kids vaccinated before Christmas, schedule it now. Like adults, children should wait three weeks between the first and second dose. It also takes two weeks after the second dose to really be considered vaccinated.
Right now, the only COVID-19 vaccine option for children is the injection. And be prepared, your child may react to it.
“I see the same little reactions that we see in adults,” said Dr. Robinson. “Pain on the site is the main response we see. There may be fever and body aches and headaches. Those symptoms usually go away within 24 hours and you can give them ibuprofen for comfort.”
Whitney LoPicollo said Brayden had a sore arm, but the next day he felt fine.
dr. Robinson wants parents to know that vaccines have generally been safe.
“If there were any concerns about vaccine safety, we addressed them and it’s something we’re also concerned about,” said Dr. Robinson. “We don’t use children as guinea pigs and don’t test on them anything that we’re not sure is safe.”
If you decide to have your child vaccinated, you can always do what LoPicollo did and talk to them about it beforehand.
“When he went in, he knew what to expect,” said LoPicollo. “He did a great job. He was excited and wanted to keep his bandage on because he wanted to show it to his friends at school.”
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