Helping kids overcome a fear of shots

The CDC now recommends COVID-19 vaccines for children ages six months and older. Here’s how to get them ready.

Gretchen Cureton’s nine-year-old daughter Evie has been afraid of needles for as long as either of them can remember. She has cried through every single shot since her newborn immunizations—and she’s had to be held still during doctor’s appointments and routine vaccinations since she was a toddler. But Evie’s needle anxiety rose to new levels last summer.

During a family conversation about when kids her age would be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, Evie burst into tears. Although she understood her mother’s explanation that the vaccine will protect her from disease, the thought of facing a needle still filled her with angst.

Many kids ages five to 11 nervously awaited their COVID-19 vaccines, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authorized November 2, 2021, for the Pfizer-BioNTech shot for emergency use. Now those kids might be on high alert again, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently recommended COVID-19 vaccines for children six months and older.

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