Why do I need vaccination for COVID-19? 12-15 year old.



What is COVID-19 or the new coronavirus?
COVID-19 is a highly infectious viral disease (the virus is called SARS-CoV-2). The vast majority of children do not become seriously ill with COVID-19. Young children and kids in Iceland receive all kinds of vaccinations to protect them from diseases. The Chief Epidemiologist would now like to offer children vaccinations to reduce the chances of them getting COVID-19.

Like when adults get vaccinated, kids also need to think things through and it´s normal and sensible to think things over. Below are questions and answers about the COVID-19 vaccination to help you make your decision.


Why should I get vaccinated for COVID-19?

  • The shot has a vaccine to prevent illness if you get infected with COVID-19.
    The vast majority of children and adolescents who get COVID-19 do not become seriously ill, although some will. Vaccines reduce the risk of serious illness and the need to be hospitalized.

What could happen if I get COVID-19?

  • When you are infected with COVID-19 it is important to take good care of yourself and be careful not to infect others.
  • The most difficult part of being ill can often be the isolation, which lasts for 10–14 days. It can be very difficult not to meet your friends and family (except on social media). The family can still be with you, but then they must be quarantined and are not allowed to go to work or school.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

  • Common symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat but also stomach pain and diarrhea. Many people become tired and have pain in their bones and muscles. Often these symptoms are mild.

Are there any other symptoms of COVID-19?

  • Some people experience a change in the sense of smell and taste so that food tastes strange or you do not feel the taste of food.

Is it possible to become seriously ill with COVID-19?

  • Sometimes the common symptoms become severe and some people become more ill and find it difficult to breathe or they get pneumonia and have to go to the hospital. Children and adolescents can get seriously ill with COVID-19, but it has not yet happened here in Iceland. Vaccination with COVID-19 makes it less likely that you become seriously ill.

Does everyone who gets COVID-19 recover?

  • Most people recover within 1-2 weeks after infection. Some adults and some children and adolescents get what is called long COVID. It then can take many weeks or months to fully recover from the illness. This may happen even if the initial COVID-19 illness was not severe. But there is much that is not yet known about this.

What more is known about long COVID?

  • Those who experience this can have a variety of symptoms, such as
    • Difficulty thinking and concentrating
    • Fatigue and weakness
    • Anxiety and even depression

What can be done to help with long COVID?

  • It is possible to get help to feel better from professionals such as doctors and psychologists.

What vaccines are used for children and adolescents?

  • Vaccine from the company Pfizer / BioNTech is used in Iceland for 12–15-year-olds. The vaccine is considered safe for this age and has been approved by the Icelandic Medicines Agency for use in children. This vaccine is given to children in many countries.

Is the vaccine safe for children and young people?

  • The vaccine is new but has been very well researched and given to millions of adults and children. Side effects are rare and the vaccine is considered very safe. Scientists know that it is safer to get vaccinated than to get COVID-19 disease, which is why children and adults are offered the shot.

Can I choose if I have the COVID-19 shot?

  • You need to talk about it with your parents and decide together. However, no one is forced to get a shot who does not want it.

Where can I get the COVID-19 shot?

  • The primary health care service has advertised when and where vaccination is available for your age group.

Does anyone need to come with me for the vaccination?

  • A guardian (mother, father or another legally responsible adult) must come with you if you are under 16 years of age. The one who comes with you will sit with you and be with you the entire time.

How is the vaccination performed?

  • You arrive and are logged in, so you may have to wait a bit. You can use your phone if you have to wait, but you just can't take pictures. There will also be screens with a movie or something to watch. Then a nurse comes and gives you the shot. The nurse will explain everything he / she is going to do.

How is the shot given?

  • The vaccine is injected into the arm at the shoulder. You can pick which side. Most people sit when the shot is given, but you can also ask if you can lie down. There is a special place for those who are anxious or want to lie down.

Does it hurt to get a shot?

  • You may have received a shot with vaccination before and this one is similar. For most people, it does not hurt but is maybe a little uncomfortable. It takes a very short time to give the shot.

Is there anything else you can do to make the shot less uncomfortable?

  • It can be good to sit on your hands or sit on one hand and hold the hand of the person with you or hold a ball or something else to squeeze. It is less uncomfortable to get a shot if your arm is relaxed, maybe it helps to imagine that the arm is asleep. For many, it is best to look the other way and try to think of something else.

What do you do if you feel unwell?

  • If you feel unwell before or after the shot, it is important that you let someone know. There are nurses in the area who can help you.

What happens when the shot is given?

  • When the shot is over, you have to wait for 15 minutes because some people are allergic to the vaccine and get symptoms (rash and itching, red or swollen lips or tongue, fainting, vomiting or difficulty breathing). The nurses will help you if this happens.

Do I need to get another shot later?

  • Yes, you will receive a text message after 3 weeks when you have to show up for shot no. 2. It is important to get both shots so that the vaccine works as well as possible. It is also okay for it to be a little longer than 3 weeks if that works better for you.

Can I get side effects from the vaccine?

  • It is not uncommon to get discomfort in the arm after the vaccination or fever, headache or body aches (bone or muscle pain). Also, some people get tired for a day or two. These side effects occur more often after the second injection. Painkillers can be used if needed.

Are there other rare side effects?

  • Inflammation of the heart is rare but has happened after this vaccination especially in young people (teens and young adults), boys more than girls. Most cases recover quickly and well.

Does the vaccine affect the hormonal activity of teenagers?

  • It is being investigated whether changes in the menstrual cycle, both decreased and heavy bleeding, are related to vaccination with this vaccine. This is therefore not yet known. No other changes in hormonal function have been observed.

Which is worse, the COVID-19 disease or vaccine side effects?

  • Symptoms, complications and potential long-term COVID-19 are considered worse than the vaccine side effects and therefore vaccination is recommended.

Is it dangerous to get a shot for COVID-19?

  • No, it is not considered dangerous, side effects are few and serious side effects are rare. It is considered worse to get the COVID-19 disease.

Fyrst birt 12.08.2021
Síðast uppfært 25.08.2021

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