Providence encourages kids to get vaccinated before school starts; offers tips for nervous students

SPOKANE, Wash. — Providence Health Care held a vaccine clinic Saturday to help kids get COVID vaccines as they prepare for school.

In just a few days, thousands of students will be heading back to class. Not all of them are protected against COVID, but on Saturday, some made that choice to get the vaccine.

Providence had a back-to-school COVID vaccination clinic, hoping to help students and other people in the community get the shot. Sixty people made appointments and also had walk-ins.

The health care provider knows needle phobia is a thing, so they had certified child life specialists available to help kids get through that fear. They even had a shot blocker, a device that has small bumps to help spread out the possible feeling of pain.

There are other ways to help your kids overcome the fear of getting vaccinated, if that’s what’s keeping them from getting it. Andi Daisley, a certified child life specialist with Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital, says parents should listen to their kids and the fears they have.

“Sometimes we have to do things for our health that might not sound that much fun, but we can get through it together,” said Daisley. “Take as much time as you need, remember to take deep breaths and be honest with them about how it’s going to feel. We do have an ice cream truck here today. There is such a thing as helping someone recover from a negative experience.”

Providence pediatrician Brian Simmerman says there are concerns as the school year approaches. More people are testing positive again in the community, and kids under 12 are unable to get the shot. He says if you can, get vaccinated for those who can’t.

“I think it will optimize their school year so they would have less sick contacts and all that going through the school, to maintain that in-school presence that’s so important for their learning and socialization,” Simmerman said.

There are several more vaccination clinics happening in our community in the coming weeks. You can find where some are being hosted here.

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READ: Ways to help your kids get ready for another pandemic school year

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