Health Advice



Is your child anxious about the COVID vaccine? Are you? Doctors address concerns

Richard Stradling, The News & Observer on

Published in Health & Fitness

"I think there's a lot of misconception that this vaccine is somehow altering our bodies and our DNA, and that is not the case," Thompson said. "It does what it's supposed to do and creates an antibody response, and we want those antibodies around. We want them to stay around as long as they can to protect us.

"These things don't integrate into our DNA, they aren't part of us in the long term, and so we don't really need to worry about long-term side effects."

How can parents help children deal with their worries over the vaccine?

The first step is to determine what your child is worried about, said Dr. Herman Naftel, a professor of psychiatry who focuses on children and adolescents. Are they afraid of needles or think the shot is going to hurt, or do they have fears about the vaccine itself?

Naftel suggests talking with children, at an age-appropriate level, about why they're receiving the vaccine and what it will do.


"We want them to know that these vaccines have been studied extensively, probably more than any vaccine in history, and so we know that they're safe," he said.

Naftel suggests letting children choose who goes with them to get the shots and talk with them about what to expect.

"Maybe think about how things will play out at the pharmacy or their doctor's office and sort of rehearse how the vaccination will go," he said. "We probably want to remind kids that they've been vaccinated, most of them, numerous times and that for the vast majority they do just fine."


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