Essentia shares tips and hours to vaccinate children against COVID
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday, November 2, officially authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11.
Children can now be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Essentia Health plans to help vaccinate this age group as quickly and easily as possible, according to a press release. Appointments are required and can be made with the child’s primary care provider or pediatrician.
“Our children have had nearly two school years disrupted by COVID-19, not to mention some children seriously ill – and even dying – from the virus,” Dr. Jonathan KenKnight, pediatrician at Essentia, said in the press release.
Patients can make an appointment through the health care provider MyChart Patient Portal or by calling 833-494-0836. The availability of appointments will vary by location as the vaccine is assigned and distributed. People are advised to check MyChart frequently for openings.
The vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective for children, according to the press release. This is a lower dose (10 micrograms) than that used for people 12 years of age and older (30 micrograms). For more information on Essentia’s vaccine, visit https://bit.ly/3k25HgN.
âAt Essentia Health, we encourage your children’s immunizations to keep them healthy and safe so they can continue in school and other activities,â KenKnight said. “With safe and effective vaccines now available for this age group, we are one step closer to the end of the pandemic.”
Clinics in the Brainerd Lakes Region are ready to deliver the Pfizer vaccine to all age groups, including 5 to 11 years old, and have added the following hours for COVID-19 vaccination:
Essentia Health St. Joseph’s-Baxter Clinic (13060 Isle Drive): 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, except Thanksgiving; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. November 26
Essentia Health St. Joseph’s-Brainerd Clinic (2024 S. Sixth St.): 9 am to 1 pm on November 13 and December 4.
Anyone under the age of 18 must have this consent form, which can be found at https://bit.ly/3ENmVXj, signed by a parent or guardian.
“We always encourage parents to be honest and patient with their child when it comes to getting the vaccine and to talk about going to the doctor more often,” said Michelle Finneman, Child Life Specialist. at Essentia, in the press release.
Essentia Health Child Life Specialists offer the following tips to help families make immunization a comfortable experience:
Be honest and use developmentally appropriate language when explaining injections to your child – saying âpokeâ rather than âshotâ or âvaccineâ; âGetting medicine in your leg with a pushâ versus an injection or a vaccine; and âit may sound like a small pinchâ or âthe medicine may be hotâ versus âit will burnâ.
To play! For our younger children, playing with medical / doctor toys helps them deal with the experiences, but also helps them desensitize them and become familiar with the different tools they may see during their clinic appointments.
Talk about the possibility of getting the vaccine and make a plan at home to help you prepare.
Validate your child’s feelings / emotions about the vaccination or past experiences. Some children are nervous and / or scared, that’s okay. It helps us know that we should make a plan and prepare in advance.
Give them appropriate choices to allow them some control over the situation – for example, ask them if they would like to watch or play a game on Mom’s phone; if they want to blow bubbles; or maybe they would like to sit on daddy’s lap or on their own.
If your child is anxious, do some breathing exercises at home or choose a favorite distraction tool and / or comfort item to bring that can be used to help support you.
Talk to your child’s healthcare provider and make a plan. Is there an option for a Child Life Specialist to be present for distraction and support? Is âBuzzyâ available for pain management? Buzzy looks like a bee and is used to numb an area of ââskin prior to injection via cold temperatures and vibration, confusing the nerves so that when the site is ready for a needle, the patient barely feels it.
Distraction tools include an iPad, smartphone, music, favorite toys, light up spinning top, and more. Comfort items, such as a favorite blanket or a stuffed animal, are also effective.