Across the country, parents and students are gearing up for a new school year. Along with conversations about school supplies and schedules, families are talking about the COVID-19 vaccine in preparation for returning to in-person school full time. The 2021-2022 school year is the third school year affected by COVID-19.
Compared to adults, fewer children have been infected with COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. However, across the U.S., we have seen a rise in the number of children diagnosed with COVID and hospitalized as a result. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone age 12 and older get a COVID-19 vaccination. Currently, only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for children aged 12 to 17. It’s given in two doses, 21 days apart.
To encourage more vaccinations among local kids, we asked some friends to share why they decided to get the COVID jab.
“I decided to get the vaccine because I felt like it was my best protection against this dangerous virus. I wanted to have a life with friends, sleepovers, and school, so I knew I needed to do my part to stay healthy, and getting the vaccine is a step towards that. I also know too many people that have suffered from COVID or lost loved ones and I felt like the vaccine was created so that we can have fewer people suffering and dying from COVID.” – Izabella, 14
“I decided to get vaccinated because I know people that got sick with COVID and I wanted nothing to do with that. It could cause long-term health problems and keep me from playing soccer, climbing, doing theater and spending time with friends and family. I wanted to know that I could do all of those things more safely. I also wanted to see my grandparents and my cousin who is immunocompromised without fear that giving them COVID could cause them to be hospitalized or worse. I don’t know what I would do if I gave it to someone else. My little sister can’t get vaccinated so we’re still being very careful, but I’m loving being back in the climbing gym even if I have to wear a mask!” – Rowan, 12
“I wanted to practice sports, I wrestle which is a really close contact sport and I wanted to not be worried about it. I was the last person in my family to get vaccinated and I was so happy when they finally approved the 12-15 year olds. I wanted to do my part to help stop the spread of COVID so life could go back to normal.” -Connor, 15
“I just moved to a new state and getting vaccinated allowed me to go to summer camps.” Andrew, 13
“I want to travel internationally. I was asked to present my vaccine information to travel to Mexico and the Bahamas.” Victor, 17
“I wanted to make sure I was keeping myself and others safe by not contributing to the spread. It is important for me because when I go to dance competitions and practices, I don’t always have my mask on. I just really wanted to be safe with everything I am doing.” – Maya, 12
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on everyone’s physical, emotional and mental health, especially for children. As we embark on the back-to-school season, amid another surge of COVID-19, let’s hear it from our kids and take the important steps to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio offers the Pfizer vaccine free of charge to members of our community who are 12 and older. Sign up for an appointment at this link. Once arriving at this link, select specialty: COVID-19 Vaccination. Under COVID-19 Visit Type, select Onsite Pfizer Vaccination Dose 1. Then click on the blue bar with SEARCH in the middle to find available appointments. We provide COVID vaccines in the Goldsbury Center for Children & Families located at 333 North Santa Rosa St., first floor, San Antonio, Texas 78207.
Walk-ins are welcome on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Experienced personnel provide the vaccines and emergency attention is nearby in case of any immediate allergic reaction. If you have questions or concerns, please talk to your pediatrician or family practice physician about the vaccine.