This week on the Minnesota Native News health report, public health agencies continue to recommend the COVID-19 vaccine for youth. One PSA even has a popular TV icon for children receiving the vaccine. Reporter Dalton Walker explains in this week’s story.
The COVID-19 vaccine is available for almost everyone and if you are eligible for a booster, it’s recommended that you get it.
In June, the Food and Drug Administration authorized vaccines for children as young as 6 months. Although our young people tend to not get seriously sick if diagnosed with the coronavirus, health officials say the vaccine is an extra layer of protection to keep them from getting seriously ill.
Lt. Commander John Naegeli is a pharmacist at the Cass Lake Indian Health Service Unit on the Leech Lake reservation in northern Minnesota
“IHS follows the recommendations of the CDC and the CDC does recommend that all children 6 months and older do get the vaccine. The side effects have been shown to be minimal compared to the serious consequences of getting sick with COVID 19,” said John
Common side effects for young children are headache, joint pain, fever, chills, tiredness, swollen lymph nodes and pain in the area of the arm where they got the vaccine.
“While a small percentage of patients might experience COVID-like symptoms for 12 to 24 hours, such as headache, slight fever, and generally just feeling ill. Normally, those side effects do go away within one day,” said John.
So far, the Cass Lake facility has seen a low demand for the vaccine of Native youth age 6 months to 4 years.
“The CDC expects roughly 20 to 30 percent of our population that is age 6 months to 4 years to get the vaccine. And at this point, at Cass Lake, I don’t see us reaching that goal. We’ve given 10 to 20 vaccines for that age group here and that would constitute 1 to 2 percent of our population so far,” John said.
In related news.
One of the most popular TV characters for children has gotten the vaccine.
Sesame Street released a PSA on vaccine importance. It showed Elmo and his father talking about the vaccine and why Elmo got it.
At-home rapid COVID-19 tests remain available from the state of Minnesota. Minnesotans are eligible to order four rapid test kits for free either online or through the public hotline. Each kit has two rapid tests.
Call 1-833-431-2053 or visit mn.gov/covid19/. (Say MN dot gov slash COVID19)
Free test kits are also available from the federal government at https://www.covid.gov/tests
For the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines, contact your local health professional, check the state and federal health websites.
Dalton Walker reporting for MN Native News Health Report
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