Preparing for a child’s vaccination
As a parent or guardian, there are a number of things you can consider before you take your child for their COVID-19 vaccine, to help make it a positive experience for them.
Remember, your child will need a second dose and they will receive other vaccines in the future.
If your child is anxious about receiving the vaccine or has additional needs, planning ahead and talking to them and your GP can help.
Children can receive additional support through vaccination centres if they are scared of needles, have a disability, behavioural difficulties or other needs.
What you need to bring
To make your child’s vaccination as smooth as possible, you will need to bring:
- proof of your child’s age (e.g., their birth certificate, passport or school card)
- your Medicare card, if you have one
Each child must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who will provide consent for vaccination. You can also provide your child with a signed consent form (external link) to take to their appointment if you cannot attend.
What you can expect on the day
Some children might be anxious about getting their COVID-19 vaccine or being in a new environment - this is normal.
An experienced immuniser trained to work with children of all ages, abilities and backgrounds will be on hand to give your child their vaccine.
If your child is overly nervous, immunisers might use visual distractions or vaccination aids to help calm your child.
Having conversations with your child or dependant about vaccination
It’s natural for children to be curious and have lots of questions about COVID-19 and vaccinations. Here’s some tips for having conversations with your child or dependant:
- Stay up to date with the latest information and advice through trusted health resources and websites
- Start a conversation and listen to your children’s response. Invite them to share what they have heard and acknowledge any fears they have about being vaccinated
- Be open about the vaccine and the vaccination process. Acknowledge the pain but put it into context. Depending on their age, you could liken getting a vaccine to having a superhero shield against disease.
More information is available from the Australian Government (external link).