Covid-19 vaccine: a guide for parents



300 million doses on the way, but for whom?

Covid-19 vaccine guide for parents


The early days of the pandemic brought much talk of a vaccine. Medical science has developed vaccines for flu, measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, smallpox, and other diseases. Surely a Covid-19 vaccine was imminent? But conventional wisdom stated it would likely take years to develop one. Fortunately, in a remarkable turn of events, that turns out to be untrue.

Operation Warp Speed, a federal initiative that actually takes its name from Star Trek, will soon be offering not just one, but several vaccines to the world. This blur of scientific activity is unprecedented. But levels of misinformation, disinformation, and distrust are also historic.

Under any circumstances, a new vaccine brings questions, particularly from parents, but especially so in the days of social media, hyper partisanship, and the politicization of a pandemic response. Writing for Parents.com, Melissa Mills gives a rundown of the vaccines coming down the pike as early as late December (but more likely early/mid 2021) and asks some medical professionals for clarification.

READ MORE: Fighting the Covid-19 myths

The leading contenders are from pharmaceutical companies Moderna and Pfizer. The Moderna vaccine has been touted as 94.5 per cent effective. Pfizer is at 95 per cent. Both companies are awaiting FDA approval, and expect to be distributing by the end of this year. Priority will go to frontline workers like medical personnel and nursing home employees, the elderly, and people with underlying health issues. Of all the vaccine options, only Pfizer included children in clinical trials.

So are these vaccines safe for kids? At this point, the answer seems to be very likely, which, frankly, is not good enough for most parents I know. According to Mills: “Some vaccine experts believe that children won't be given the Covid-19 vaccine upon initial release and that rigorous clinical trials on kids would need to happen first. In fact, children might not see a coronavirus vaccine until late 2021.”

Also currently unclear is how any of these vaccines will affect pregnant women and their fetuses. Mills writes: “Pregnant women are not being included in current vaccine clinical trials. In fact, Reuters reports that drug makers working on the top contenders are ‘requiring proof of a negative pregnancy test and a commitment to using birth control from women of childbearing age who enroll.’”

The upshot: although this amazing story of science, tech, and innovation is quite promising, important questions remain for families. And yes, a lot of it amounts to yet another call for patience. Mills advises: “Health experts agree that families should follow the race for a vaccine candidate and let the data speak for itself once testing is complete.”



Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • Hudson Highlands Nature Museum Brings Popular ‘Knee High Naturalist’ Program to Newburgh

    Great nature program for little kids

    With generous support from Hudson Valley Credit Union and the Malcolm Gordon Charitable Fund, the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum (HHNM) has been able to bring its popular Knee High Naturalists Program to the Newburgh Public Library on Tuesdays from 10am-10:45am, at no charge to Newburgh residents. read more »
  • Mental health tips for COVID-era teens

    How teens can tackle their distinctive issues

    Mental health issues in teens can be very distinctive to their age group, but this age group in particular has significant advantages, too. read more »
  • Fun activities for Earth Day

    Celebrate Earth Day with these fun things to do with your family

    HVP has picked some of the best things you can do with your family to celebrate Earth Day. From feeding the birds to recycling household items. read more »
  • 10 ways to celebrate Earth Day at home

    Do something green for the planet on this day dedicated to preserving the Earth

    This year marks the 51st anniversary of Earth Day. This year’s theme is “Restore Our Earth”. Here are some things families can do at home to celebrate from The Old Farmer’s Almanac. read more »
  • Get your kids interested in birding

    Great spots you can watch birds in the Hudson Valley

    NYS has hundreds of species of birds. The Hudson Valley has lots of places where you and your family can observe them. See this list of places to go and what you may see. read more »
  • How to focus on college during these times

    College admissions expert shares 7 great tips

    Halley Shefler, a college admissions expert and the Founder & President of ArtsBridge, offers suggestions on how to approach the college search. Shefler heads a consulting firm that works with high school students who aspire to study the arts. She shares some tips and activities that students should keep in mind to make the most out of their high school spring break. read more »
  • How to be funny, and how not to be

    Famous comedian Roy Wood Jr. offers tips

    Being funny can be a kid’s superpower, but it can also become a weapon to wound. Comedian Roy Wood Jr. helps fellow parents guide children accordingly. read more »
  • How and when to teach kids about homophobia

    A two-mom couple offer tips on having this crucial conversation

    Social media influencers Ebony and Denise, moms of three kids, have some helpful guidance on how and when to broach the topic of homophobia with your family. read more »
  • One dad’s most important parenting lesson

    A father of four shares his number one rule

    According to Swampy Hawkins, father of four, kids need honesty and consistency more than anything. read more »
  • Joyful rest is a necessity

    Evolving attitudes towards taking it easy

    African-American mom Domari Dickinson talks to Popsugar’s Kate Schweitzer about the challenges she faced when she was forced to make time for rest in her family’s schedule read more »