On the morning after Covid-19 shots were recommended for children ages 5 to 11. Karen Bucher woke up at dawn to secure a vaccinating kids under 12 appointment for her daughter, Margot. a social 8-year-old who has had just one indoor play date since the pandemic hit.
As Bucher, of Chicago, booked the slot.
she felt tears welling up as she realized the significance of the appointment not just for Margot, but for the rest of their family, too.
Bucher, her partner and Bucher’s 13-year-old son are already vaccinated.
While awaiting Margot’s turn to get her shot, the family lived nearly as cautiously as they did before.
We still had to protect her, so nothing changed:
The kids haven’t been inside a restaurant or a grocery store since February 2020.
said Bucher, a medical illustrator for JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association.
“I know the vaccines are very protective of hospitalization and death.
but that doesn’t mean that we can’t give it to her if we were to get sick.”
With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s endorsement last week of a Covid vaccine for children in the 5 to 11 age group.
parents of young kids say they feel a rush of relief and hope about their families’ futures.
A vaccine still has yet to be approved for children under age 5.
But among the 28 million children ages 5 to 11 in the U.S., many parents, at last, see a path forward out of the pandemic.
“It’s a green light to start to figure out how we go back to a new normal,” said Bucher, who booked Margot’s first shot for this Thursday.
“I think people who don’t have kids went through that transition months ago.’”
“It’s a little bit less likely that kids are getting to the point that kids are in the hospital.
but I just couldn’t live with myself if that happened,” he said.
Ware’s kids will also get their first shots Thursday:
“I care about their well-being more than anything.”
“I didn’t realize how much stress I was carrying around,” said Krishna Mudumbi.
a research scientist who lives in Wethersfield, Connecticut, and is the father of two children, ages 7 and 8.
Vaccinating kids under 12 got their first doses Saturday:
For Mudumbi, it was a step toward no longer worrying about whether they would get exposed to the coronavirus at school.
whether he and his wife would have to change their work schedules to stay home with them if they were quarantining, getting Covid tests before going to visit the grandparents and other inconveniences that had become regular parts of the family’s lives.
“There were just a lot of things that became a new concern in our minds, and now we’re seeing a little bit of normalcy,” Mudumbi said.
It’s a response many parents are likely to have, said psychologist Lynn Bufka, the senior director of practice transformation and quality at the American Psychological Association.
but for those who do, they feel like ‘there’s something I can do,’” she added.
They also plan to eventually go to New York City, a place the kids have long wanted to take a trip to.
A ripple effect for the rest of the family:
It’s not just parents who will feel the ripple effect from their youngsters’ getting Covid shots.
In many households, siblings, too, will benefit. Last weekend, she took her youngest child, Aaron, 10, to get his first shot.
Aaron Eklund, 10, after receiving his first Covid vaccination.
“For me, it’s pure excitement and happiness and relief and just ‘yay, we’ve done it!’” Eklund said of getting Aaron his first shot.
The shot went well, she said. Aaron was nervous, but he said it hurt less than the flu shot he got a month ago.
For Bucher, who, as a medical illustrator, has been closely following the research around Covid.