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From Pediatric Developments to Employer Mandates: Five New COVID-19 Vaccination Facts to Know

Man receiving vaccine

Photo credit: Ringo Chiu

Nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be overwhelming to keep up with current vaccine recommendations and requirements. This is especially true for staff in resettlement agencies, community-based organizations, and public health departments who are all working tirelessly to support clients.

With employer vaccine requirements and vaccines for children aged 5-11 well under way, clients continue to turn to staff with questions. For answers, staff can refer to the following quick facts and resources, which were developed the National Resource Center for Refugees, Immigrants, and Migrants (NRC-RIM) and informed by Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) guidance. These easy-to-remember facts enable staff to answer common questions  so that they may continue to serve as trusted sources of information for refugee, immigrant, and migrant (RIM) communities. 

#1. The Pfizer vaccine is highly effective at preventing COVID-19 among children aged 5-11.

Not only can vaccination protect children and their family members, friends, and communities against serious illness, but it can also reduce disruptions to children’s schooling and their parents’ work schedules.

#2. Children aged 5-11 are receiving a smaller, age-appropriate dose.

The COVID-19 vaccines for younger children were designed and formulated especially for those aged 5-11. Children aged 5-11 receive a smaller dose. The appropriate dosage is best determined by a child’s age, not size. Smaller needles, designed specifically for children, are used for those under 12.

#3. Children may have some normal side effects for a few days.

The side effects in children aged 5-11 are the same as those seen in adults post-vaccination. These side effects signify that children’s bodies are building protection against COVID-19.

More Resources on Pediatric Vaccination

#4. By January 4, 2022, federal workers and employees of federal contractors must be vaccinated.

Approximately 95% of federal workers under the vaccination mandate have complied so far. Federal and state regulations for private employers may be forthcoming, but many employers are already choosing to enforce requirements. Keep in mind that anyone can receive a free COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of their immigration status or whether they have an ID or health insurance.

#5. If your employer requires you to get vaccinated, you only need to show proof of your vaccination as confirmation.

You should not need to show any additional medical information to your employer. For many people, the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record (vaccine card) is sufficient proof of vaccination.

More Resources on Employer Vaccine Mandates

Looking to learn more? Visit NRCRIM.org for COVID-19 health education, toolkits, and resources that center the needs of refugees, immigrants, and migrants. If you need a resource but don’t see it, or your agency needs technical assistance on engaging with clients around COVID-19 and the vaccine, contact the NRC-RIM team at nrcrim@umn.edu.

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