The pandemic has caused lots of worries in kids. Don’t let vaccines become one of them.

How to calm anxiety about infecting others or just being ‘left behind’

After Nicole Brito, a nurse practitioner in Contra Costa County, California, got her COVID-19 vaccine, her six-year-old asked if she could get one, too. When Brito explained there wasn’t a vaccine for kids yet, her daughter seemed stressed. “Mommy, what if I get COVID?” she said, according to Brito. “Can’t I get the shot so I don’t get COVID? I don’t want to get sick.”

Brito consoled her by explaining the situation. “We talked about how scientists have to study the vaccine some more and that when it gets approved for kids, we’ll be sure to get her signed up,” Brito says. “But in the meantime, Mom and Dad were working on getting all the grown-ups in her life vaccinated so that we could keep her safe, too.”

As more adults line up to receive vaccines to protect them from COVID-19, one group will be left out: kids. None of the vaccines currently being deployed around the United States have been approved for people under 16. Both Pfizer and Moderna currently have clinical trials under way to verify the safety and efficacy of their formulas for kids as young as 12, and doctors expect a full pediatric rollout of vaccine distribution by the end of 2021.

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