Preparing My Girls for the COVID-19 Vaccine

Columbia Mom has partnered with Richland Library to bring our readers the following post.

One minute it was 2019; a pretty good year in general. It was a time when we thought the year 2020 was going to bring nothing but new apps and more ways for our kids to download things on our phones without us knowing (no? just me?). The next minute, it’s 2020; and what we didn’t realize then, was that we would face some of the hardest times in parenting for our generation.

As a mom of two daughters, ages five and seven, I understand how overwhelming it is to decipher facts, falsehoods, opinions, and the never-ending media coverage. Perhaps the most difficult aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic era are understanding the ever-changing landscape and how to keep our children safe in it. 

When the time came for vaccines, it seemed like there was a light at the end of the never-ending tunnel. My husband and I both made the choice that we would all be vaccinated when kids’ vaccines became available.

As a Richland Library patron and employee, I trust their brand. When I heard that we would be partnering with Cooperative Health as a way to combat the confusion around keeping kids and families safe with vaccine clinics that included vaccines for kids ages five years old and up, it was a welcomed opportunity to start the process of getting our girls vaccinated. Not only do they have clinics in two of their Library locations, Main and St. Andrews, but they also are offering vaccines located at Soda City Market, often the epicenter of a fun Columbia Saturday.

Having gone through the process, I want to share with my fellow “Columbia Moms” how I went about preparing my girls for their vaccinations and share how it went.

Be Transparent

It may seem easy to try and shield our little ones from information, but in the case of the vaccine, my husband and I thought it best to talk with our girls about what it all means. We explained that we ourselves have been vaccinated and boosted and so have a lot of the family members that we all love dearly. We also shared with them the actual process as best as we could so they would know what to expect.

Be Understanding

Patience is essentially the key to a smooth vaccination process. As parents, we know our kids’ personality and their cute little quirks! I was not surprised when my five-year-old tried squirming away from the syringe, and she almost kicked the nurse by accident. Let’s just say she is not a fan of getting any type of shot, and due to her asthma and earlier ER visits, she has had one or two bad experiences. Knowing this, I knew it would be up to me to keep the situation as calm as possible and not get too flustered. Let’s be honest, no parent wants to see their child uncomfortable.

Take a Day

I decided to take the girls to get vaccinated on a day where they had nothing going on directly after vaccination, or even for the next day! I know from my own vaccine experience that I was tired and sore immediately after it and on the following day. There is little research on how kids feel after their vaccines, so I decided it was best to make some room for them to rest if they needed it. Both girls complained of having a sore arm at the vaccination spot, but were fine otherwise; of course, every child can have a different reaction!

Earn a Prize for Bravery

Another awesome perk to getting vaccinated at the Cooperative Health and Richland Library Clinics are the incentives that are specially created for kids! It’s so important to truly remind kids the bravery it takes to not only get vaccinated but to do their best during these uncertain times. The cool incentives provided were awesome, but we added a stop to grab ice cream because, well, that makes everything better.

I hope these tips help you on your journey to getting your kids vaccinated. Be it at one of the library’s clinics, a local drug store, or your pediatrician’s office, making choices to keep your kids safe during the pandemic is just a vaccine away. No matter what you decide, you’re doing a great job, Mom! Go get your ice cream – for both you and your kids!

Here are some helpful links from Richland Library on the vaccination process:

Lauren Malloy – Wife, Mother, Coffee lover, and Social Media Coordinator for Richland Library


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