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Hospitalist Dr. Romano Shares Tips to Prepare Your Child for the COVID-19 Vaccine

All children 6 months and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Once you book your child's vaccine appointment, now what?

Laura Romano, D.O., a hospitalist at Cook Children’s Medical Center, recently got her her almost 4-year-old daughter and 20-month-old son vaccinated. She shared advice for how to prepare your young child. Dr Romano 3

Based on available data, our health care providers and pediatricians at Cook Children’s strongly recommend that parents get children vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. The COVID positivity rate has slowly climbed at Cook Children's Health Care System. On July 19, the daily positivity rate was 30.6%.

Many Cook Children’s primary care offices are offering COVID vaccines. Patient families can check MyChart for online scheduling options or call their pediatrician’s offices.

Moderna's vaccine, for children 6 months through 5 years old, is two shots spaced one month apart.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, for children 6 months through 4 years old, is three shots over the course of 11 weeks.

Dr. Romano's Tips on How to Prep Your Children for Shots:

1.     Be upfront about what’s going to happen! Dr Romano 2

  • I always tell my children a few days early that they will have a doctor or a dentist appointment!
  • I tell them what’s going to happen at each visit. For example, “Jay, you’re going to go see your pediatrician. They’re going to listen to your heart and your tummy!”
  • If they’re going to get shots, let them know that as well. “Danielle, we’re going to go see your doctor. You will need two shots at the visit.”

2.     Talk about the immunizations and let them ask questions.

  • We talked a lot about the COVID vaccine before my children were even eligible.
  • We talked about why it was important in an age-appropriate language.
    • My son, who is 20 months, was told that it was to keep him healthy and strong!
    • My daughter, who just turned 4, knows it’s to protect against a virus called COVID. COVID can make some people very sick so it’s really important that we do everything we can to protect ourselves and others from germs.
  • Let them know that it might pinch or hurt for a few minutes but it’ll be all done soon!

3.     If they want, let them play doctor and practice giving a shot.

  • My daughter loves to play doctor so our stuffed animals and sometimes our younger brother receives a lot of “check-ups” and sometimes “shots.” Dr Romano 1

4.     Let them bring a distraction or a friend to make them feel brave at the actual appointment itself.

  • We brought my daughter’s favorite stuffed animal best friend, Bear Bear, because he made my daughter feel safe.
  • We also had a few songs loaded on our phones in case they needed some extra help.

5.     Let them choose where they want to get the shot and also how they want to get it.

  • Do they want Mommy or Daddy to hold them? Do they want to lay down by themselves?

6.     After it’s over, give them lots of hugs and love!

  • Sometimes a little bribery goes a long way! Bribery can be in the form of a lollipop, a piece of candy, a new toy, or just a fun new sticker!

7.     After any vaccine, a child might run a low-grade fever (less than 100.5 F) and might have some muscle aches, so please feel free to give them Tylenol and Motrin. This will not blunt an immune response to the vaccine! 

RELATED: COVID-19 Cases Increase at Cook Children’s (

About Cook Children's

Cook Children’s Health Care System embraces an inspiring Promise – to improve the health of every child through the prevention and treatment of illness, disease and injury. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, we’re proud of our long and rich tradition of serving our community. Our not-for-profit organization is comprised of nine companies, including our Medical Center, Physician Network, Home Health company, Northeast Hospital, Pediatric Surgery Center, Health Plan, Health Services Inc., Child Study Center and Health Foundation. With more than 60 primary, specialty and urgent care locations throughout Texas, families can access our top-ranked specialty programs and network of services to meet the unique needs of their child. For 100 years, we’ve worked to improve the health of children from across our primary service area of Denton, Hood, Johnson, Parker, Tarrant and Wise counties. We combine the art of caring with leading technology and extraordinary collaboration to provide exceptional care for every child. This has earned Cook Children’s a strong, far-reaching reputation with patients traveling from around the country and the globe to receive life-saving pediatric care. For more information, visit