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Easy Steps to Get Your Child Ready for the COVID-19 Vaccine

MONDAY, Aug. 9, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Vaccination is the best way parents can protect the health of kids 12 and older during the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Academy of Pediatrics says.

AAP offers a checklist to prepare older kids and teens for the shot.

To begin, tell their health care provider you're planning to have your child vaccinated against COVID. Ask questions and outline any concerns.

Your child should be up to date on all routine immunizations. If not, make an appointment to get caught up. Once that's done, your child can immediately get a COVID-19 shot.

To find a local vaccination site, go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's VaccineFinder. Or text GETVAX (438829) or VACUNA for Spanish (822862) to receive three vaccine sites on your phone within seconds. You can call the National COVID-19 Vaccination Assistance Hotline at 800-232-0233.

Be sure the vaccine being given at your preferred location is Pfizer — the only currently authorized vaccine in the U.S. for 12- to 17-year-olds. There are no approved vaccines for kids under 12.

After your child receives their first dose, schedule the second dose.

Keep the paper vaccination card you receive after your child is vaccinated. Take a photo of it or copy it and keep everything in a safe place. Don't laminate the vaccination card, in case more information needs to be added. To avoid identity theft risk, don't share a photo of the card on social media.

After the second vaccine dose, send a copy of the card to your pediatrician's office so it can be added to your child's medical record. You may also need to provide a copy to your child's school or college health office.

Your child is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second shot. At that point, they can return to group activities such as sports, choir, plays and parties, and you'll know they're fully protected.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on COVID-19 vaccines for children and teens.

SOURCE: American Academy of Pediatrics, news release, July 19, 2021

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