Not Sure If You Should Vaccinate Your Kids for COVID-19? We Get It.

Not Sure If You Should Vaccinate Your Kids for COVID-19? We Get It.

May 14, 2021

Parenting is full of tough choices that are neither right nor wrong, but somewhere in the middle. The choice you make comes down to your family’s situation and the amount of risk and benefit there is. Have you noticed during the pandemic these choices have been harder, and critics on both sides have been louder?

According to Sophia Albott, MD, MA, adult psychiatrist at University of Minnesota Physician St. Louis Park Clinic, decisions are a lot harder when we’re in the middle of a pandemic. According to her article on guilt and shame about the COVID-19 vaccine, we have been operating in “survival mode” during the pandemic and when a person is facing a threat, their brain reacts by simplifying choices. This black-and-white thinking can help a person choose quickly when survival depends on it, but it does not allow them to critically analyze choices. This is why the idea of a COVID-19 vaccine being authorized for adolescents can be polarizing for some and paralyzing for others. If you’re struggling with making this decision, you are not alone. Here are some ideas to help with the decision process:

Take a break from social media. Talk to people you know and trust rather than letting strangers who don’t know you and your family’s situation make you feel shamed about your choice. Remember most parents are in the middle trying to decide too.

Be careful of people who don’t listen or acknowledge your questions. If somebody is knowledgeable and wants you to make an informed decision, they will help you get there with the information you need.

Make a risk list. List out the risks of both sides of your decision; just be careful that you are evaluating credible sources. Your family pediatrician who has studied for years and knows your children’s medical history should carry more weight than a social media post with no source cited.

Talk to an objective person about how you feel. The pandemic has made everything harder. We’ve had to make decisions about things we’ve never even thought about before. It’s worth getting support to deal with the decision-making process itself. Talk to a counselor or call Washington Listens 833.681.0211 for support and resources.

Give yourself some credit. If you are genuinely struggling with the decision to vaccinate, it’s because you care about your kids and you want what’s best for them.

If you’d like some more information about the safety of the vaccine for adolescents it’s always a good idea to sit down with your child’s pediatrician and talk about it.

You can also start with checking out a Spokane local, Dr. Gretchen LaSalle:

Dr. LaSalle is a family physician with MultiCare and a 2020 American Academy of Family Physicians Vaccine Science Fellow discusses COVID-19 vaccination to help make the best decision for your family. She writes a regular blog, but this one in particular would be helpful in deciding whether to vaccinate your child: COVID vaccines and your teen.

And, here are some other great resources:

CDC: COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens

Johns Hopkins: COVID-19 Vaccine: What Parents Need to Know