Parents make case for COVID-19 vaccines

Rachel had Richie vaccinated at their local CVS Pharmacy.

Rachel Maes isn’t sure which member of her family got COVID-19 first.

But with repeated exposures at daycare, school and work for Rachel, her fiancée, three young children and her live-in parents, it “seemed inevitable” that someone in her home would be infected with the highly contagious Omicron variant.

By early January, the entire household had tested positive for COVID-19.

Fortunately, the family’s symptoms were mild, which Rachel attributes to the fact that every eligible member was fully immunized.

“At this point it's not so much about preventing COVID-19 as it is about making sure everyone is vaccinated and boosted,” she says. “I’ll do anything that I can to give my children an extra layer of safety.”

Richie and his mom talk to a healthcare provider who is pointing to a COVID-19 vaccine package.
Pharmacists like Daryl Fahrner are specially trained to provide vaccinations to kids 5-11 years

That’s why Rachel took her son Richie, 9, and daughter Bryn, 7, to her nearby CVS Pharmacy in Green Bay, Wisconsin, to be immunized as soon as the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 was authorized in November.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that serious adverse effects were rarely reported after administering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children ages 5 to 11https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm705152a1.htm?s_cid=mm705152a1_w — and that the vaccine is over 90% effectivehttps://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/planning/children/10-things-to-know.html at preventing COVID-19.

Yet, while pediatric hospitalizations are soaringhttps://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#new-hospital-admissions, only about 20% of children ages 5-11 are fully vaccinatedhttps://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccination-demographics-trendshttps://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccination-demographics-trends.

CVS Health’s commitment to pediatric vaccinations

Richie holds up a sticker that reads: "Super Hero - Vaccinated against COVID-19 - CVS"

“At this point there have been hundreds of millions of vaccines administered and it's quite clear that these vaccines are safe— so, it really takes away any valid reason for waiting,” explains Dr. David Fairchild, Chief Medical Officer, MinuteClinic.

Parent Vanessa Miller says she vaccinated her 8-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son to protect them from getting COVID-19 — and to reduce the risk of transmitting it to vulnerable relatives.

Miller says her local CVS Pharmacy, which offers evening appointments after basketball practices, “was by far the most convenient option.”

It’s also one of nearly 1,700 CVS Pharmacy and 500 MinuteClinic locations with vaccinators who are specially trained to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to children ages 5 to 11.

CVS Health has created an in-store experience for children 5 to 11 to ease their fears and celebrate their bravery, says Pharmacy Manager Daryl Fahrner, who offers pop-it toys before administering vaccines. “The child will ask me: ‘Did you do it already?’”

“It's great as a parent, knowing that your kids are going to be put at ease and they’ll be comfortable,” says Rachel. “CVS was efficient, friendly and caring. It was a great experience.”