Here’s What Happened When My Toddler Got the COVID Vaccine
A blow-by-blow for anyone considering the newly-approved shot for their child.
I’ll spare you the trouble of scrolling to the end to make sure my 20-month-old is okay — he is! He’s doing great. It’s been 48 hours since his vaccine, and he has had no adverse reactions. Let’s get that out of the way immediately, as I don’t intend for this to be clickbait: just a breakdown for other parents who might be interested.
My son, Andy, was born in October 2020. I had a pandemic pregnancy. Then we had a pandemic baby. Now we have a pandemic toddler. Waiting and hoping and praying for a safe, effective vaccine for children under 5 has been a hallmark of his entire existence.
And, as of June 17, 2022, the final approval for the Pfizer vaccine went through for children aged 6 months and up. I cried.
My husband and I were vaccinated in April and May of 2021, as soon as we became eligible. But the year and change since then has still been a long, hard slog of unknowns and setbacks and waiting. We were thrilled to finally have the opportunity to get our little boy protected against COVID-19.
Delirious with the good news, I assumed that getting a vaccine appointment would be a mere waltz through fairy unicorn land — one simple phone call, one simple date set.
Ha ha ha ha ha welcome to the American healthcare system.
Andy’s pediatrician’s office told me (after 45 minutes on hold and an unreturned voicemail) that they wouldn’t be getting vaccine shipments until July, and could not make appointments until then. Costco Pharmacy won’t vaccinate children under 3, regardless of what the CDC and FDA say. Neither will Walgreens. Neither will Rite Aid. And the mass vaccination clinics of spring 2021 (I got my shots in a converted warehouse!) are long gone.
That left CVS Minute Clinic. The Minute Clinics are staffed by medical professionals who are licensed to give vaccines to children under 3 (as opposed to pharmacists, who cannot) and appointments are few and far between these days.
Gee. Wonder why.