Last month, my almost 2-year-old daughter received her first COVID-19 shot. What a relief! Her life so far has been overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many families during the pandemic, so many questions have plagued my husband and me about what’s safe to do, who’s safe to see, and just generally how to manage the risk of our toddler getting sick. To finally be able to offer her some extra protection against COVID-19 brought us some much-needed peace of mind. It makes it a little easier to prioritize seeing friends and family, and to simply enjoy the adventures of toddlerhood.
My husband and I received our shots and boosters pretty much as soon as we could. But it’s been a long wait for toddlers and babies to be eligible, which has certainly been frustrating at times. My positive spin on it, though, is that it gives us some extra assurance about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine – ultimately, the extra time it took for approval means we can have greater faith in the vaccine and its development.
Our daughter was unfazed by the vaccine experience. As the two of us waited in line for one of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) mobile vaccine clinics, we sang songs and played with some toys. “Wheels on the Bus” was a popular request, as my daughter was very excited to receive her shot aboard a bus. (For her second dose, perhaps we can find a vaccine clinic on a choo choo train, and she might never leave.) Despite a bit of a wait in line, it was a pretty quick experience. There were some tears when the shot was administered, but she quickly recovered and, luckily, didn’t experience any side effects.
For many families, this might be a challenging decision, so definitely talk to your doctor or other health care professionals about the risks and benefits. But, for us, it was a moment of celebration and relief – much like when we were vaccinated ourselves!
The pandemic isn’t over and the vaccine won’t protect our daughter from everything but it’s another step toward our new normal. I’m so thankful for the doctors, researchers, and families that helped make this vaccine available for all of us, now including the youngest kiddos.