Children as young as 5 can start getting the COVID-19 vaccine Friday at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse.
The FDA approved a lower-dose Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5-11.
Mayo pediatrician Robert Jacobson offered advice for parents whose children might be afraid to get a shot.
“Think about something special your family can do to mark the vaccination and to celebrate the vaccination,” Jacobson said. “Indicate to your child, this was a grown-up thing for you to do, I’m very proud of you.”
Dr. Jacobson prefers the celebration to other types of rewards, such as offering to pay kids to get a shot.
The doctor also says children could be persuaded to think about how a vaccine can keep them healthy.
“You should explain to the child that the pain of the injection will come and go, but the benefits are long lasting,” he said. “Teach them that the vaccine teaches the body to defend against the germs and the harms that these germs do.”
Jacobson added that it may not be necessary to get a new vaccine for COVID every year, unlike the need for new flu vaccines.