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Vaccination News Update
Questions You May Have Asked …

Dr. Jewel Younge is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy and practices at Wood Street Pharmacy, of the UI Health Ambulatory Care Pharmacies. She has 20 years of experience teaching and working with every age of learner –  from nursery rooms to University graduate halls and all levels in between. Here are three important facts this pharmacist wants you to know about the COVID-19 vaccine and your kids

  1. The COVID-19 vaccine is safe – The COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials had thousands of volunteers. To date, the vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective for children age 12 and up. These studies are ongoing, and new information is shared, readily. A common worry I hear is that the vaccine was created too quickly. But the development of this vaccine has been faster than vaccines in the past for a few reasons. Scientists didn’t have to start from scratch. They had already been working on the technology for this vaccine to help with other vaccines. There were many COVID-19 cases in the community during the trials, so it didn’t take long to see that vaccine working. It was clear that it was protecting people from getting sick with COVID-19.

     2.  The vaccine is effective – Astoundingly, the vaccine was 100% effective at preventing COVID-19 illness in children 12- 16 during the clinical trials. A perfect score seems unbelievable, but no children who received the vaccine got sick with COVID-19.

  1.  It’s worth it!  I totally get it. There is a lot of confusion, and it is hard to know what is right or wrong. It is important to recognize and investigate our fears. Concerns about after-effects are reasonable, and there is a risk with every health care treatment, medication, or procedure. My own friends are worried about endocarditis in older children, but we’ve also seen the drastic effects that COVID-19 can bring – so they are erring on the side of caution and getting their kids vaccinated. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine provides long-lasting protection for you and those that live in your home, and most people will have only mild after-effects – tiredness, headache, and one heck of a sore arm.

Dr. Young suggests you talk to a healthcare provider to learn more about the vaccine, and find an appointment or learn about walk-in sites at Chicago.gov/COVIDvaxDr. Younge is a member of the Chicagoland Vaccine Partnership’s Speakers Bureau and you can request her to answer vaccine questions at a community event by sending an email to community@chicagolandvp.org

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