Responding to a growing call from area residents, the Audrain County Health Department (ACHD) is launching several COVID-19 immunization clinics for COVID-19 using the Pfizer vaccine approved for adolescent-aged residents in Audrain County.
“This is an attempt to get more shots in arms so more Audrain County residents are protected from COVID-19,” ACHD Administrator and CEO Craig Brace said. “As schools begin back for another year, the best guardian you can give yourself when you can’t be there is peace of mind your child is the safest he or she can be and, that includes on the vaccination front. Also, for your teen, you give them the knowledge they are protected and protecting others with the vaccine.”
The clinics are scheduled at the Audrain County Health Department on the following dates: Wednesday, August 4th; Thursday, August 5th; Wednesday, August 11th and Thursday, August 12. Parental or guardian consent must be given and at least one parent or guardian must accompany the teen to the appointment in order to receive the vaccine. The times available are: 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.; 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and noon to 1 p.m., 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. as well each day of the clinics.
ACHD LPN and Vaccination and Immunization Lead Brandi Meyer says she understands the concern a parent has with giving an adolescent a vaccine they haven’t had before.
“With any vaccine, there’s always a chance of a reaction,” Meyer said. “It’s the same with the COVID-19 vaccine as well, but the reactions have been mild and, in the clinical trials for the Pfizer vaccine, no major safety concerns were identified. The reactions noted in the trials include mild arm pain at the injection site, a mild fever the day after, fatigue, headaches and chills.”
She says there are things you as a parent can do to ease your child’s mind if they have questions about taking the vaccine.
“Talk to your child about the vaccine being safe and effective,” she said. “Remind them that they aren’t getting the vaccine to only protect themselves but also their family and friends their age from contracting COVID. Let them know that in the trials, the vaccine was 100-percent effective at preventing serious illness from COVID-19 in children ages 12 through 15.”
After the shots, parents need to be on guard looking for the possible side effects. Meyer says there is a time with the vaccine when you do need to contact your private physician.
“If the redness or tenderness at the injection site gets worse after 24 hours, you need to contact your provider,” she said. “Or, if the side effects are concerning you can always talk with your provider or the nurse administering the shot to your child when attending the appointment for further guidance on what to watch for.”
Brace says he understands the concern that some parents may have.
“The science shows the Pfizer vaccine is quite safe and effective for anyone over the age of 12,” he said.
For more information, you can contact the ACHD. To schedule an appointment, go to www.myachd.as.me or call 573-581-1332 Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.