Are you preparing to take your child for their COVID-19 vaccine? We asked one of our experts, nurse Barb Paton, for tips on what to expect.
Check out her videos or read her tips below on what to expect before, during, and after the appointment.
Before Your Child’s Appointment
Plan to be at our clinic for about half an hour to an hour and it’s a good idea to give them a snack beforehand. Remember to bring your child’s Care Card and booking confirmation and be sure they are wearing a mask and a short-sleeved shirt so that we can easily give them their vaccine.
During Your Child’s Appointment
All our public health nurses at immunization clinics are trained to work with children and can help you work with your child to support them. When we meet you and your child, we’ll talk to you about the vaccine and answer any questions you may have. There’s no rush!
Feel free to use puzzles, games or other distractions to help your child if they are feeling a little nervous. Doing breathing exercises can help reduce any stress, as well. Again, our job as your child’s care provider is to make the experience as positive as possible.
The paediatric vaccine is a smaller dose than what is given to older children and adults, and takes only a moment to administer. Sometimes children’s imaginations make it scarier than it actually is, and kids usually say it didn’t hurt as much as they thought.
After Your Child’s Appointment
After the vaccination, you and your child will wait in the recovery area for 15 minutes. Then you’re all done! Congratulations – you’re child is a vaccine champion!
There are some common side effects such as pain, and redness at the injection site. These will pass quickly.
Headache, muscle aches and fever or chills are quite less common compared to adolescents who received the adult vaccine. Serious side effects are very rare, but if you notice any health or behaviour changes contact 811 or your healthcare provider.
Looking for more information?
Check out our information on COVID-19 vaccines for children 5-11.
About the author
Barb Paton is a public health nurse who has been practicing for 25 years.