A few weeks ago I took my daughters for their first COVID vaccine. It was a day I'd been looking forward to since vaccines first became available, and my wife and I were relieved to be finally able to provide our girls with more protection from this virus.
As any family with young children can attest, raising kids during a pandemic is stressful. It was more stressful before the children’s vaccine was available and it will be even less stressful after they get their second shot.
The restrictions have made our lives more complicated. And I'm feeling frustrated - with this virus and with those who don’t follow the health recommendations designed to keep the rest of us safe.
"Many of us have heard Omnicron may be 'less serious', but
we can't bring our guard down. People are still getting very sick
and dying from this. We already know that more health-care workers
are becoming ill and our health systems are struggling to care for
so many additional people."
The way I see it, I wear my mask, get vaccinated, social distance, etc. not only to protect myself and my family but also to protect my friends, and the people of my town. It is a small inconvenience to do these simple things to help protect everyone.
Helping your kids get a COVID-19 vaccine
When we told our kids about their upcoming vaccine, they had different reactions. My eldest child was calm and accepted it easily. She understood why she needed the vaccine and that it was helping everyone else. My younger child didn’t understand why she needed a vaccine - she was too overwhelmed at the thought of getting a needle.
When the day finally came for their vaccines, I was really impressed with how organized and supportive the staff at the clinic were.
I noticed right away that the health-care workers spoke directly to the children, rather than over them and to me. And when my youngest was upset and crying prior to the vaccine, they made suggestion (remove her coat, have her sit on my lap) to get her shot with the least amount of stress.
Afterwards, my kids got stickers, colouring sheets, and candy canes. When we were waiting the 15 minutes to leave, someone came by with sticky notes for the kids to put on positive messages for other children. My daughters liked doing that.
My advice to other parents? Get yourself and your kids vaccinated! It's the best way to keep your family safe.
About the author
Kirk Warkotsch lives in Kelowna with his wife and their two daughters.