Covid vaccine Myths

From the CDC

Below are a few of the myths circulating online about Covid vaccines. 

Can COVID-19 vaccines cause variants?

No.C OVID-19 vaccines do not create or cause variants of the virus that causes COVID-19.

New variants of a virus happen because the virus that causes COVID-19 constantly changes through a natural ongoing process of mutation (change). Even before the COVID-19 vaccines, there were several variants of the virus. Looking ahead, variants are expected to continue to emerge as the virus continues to change.

COVID-19 vaccines can help prevent new variants from emerging. As it spreads, the virus has more opportunities to change. High vaccination coverage in a population reduces the spread of the virus and helps prevent new variants from emerging. CDC recommends that everyone 5 years and older get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Are all events reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) caused by vaccination?

No. VAERS data alone cannot determine if the reported adverse event was caused by a COVID-19 vaccination. Anyone can report events to VAERS, even if it is not clear whether a vaccine caused the problem. Some VAERS reports may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable. These adverse events are studied by vaccine safety experts who look for unusually high numbers of health problems, or a pattern of problems, after people receive a particular vaccine.

Recently, the number of deaths reported to VAERS following COVID-19 vaccination has been misinterpreted and misreported as if this number means deaths that were proven to be caused by vaccination. Reports of adverse events to VAERS following vaccination, including deaths, do not necessarily mean that a vaccine caused a health problem.

Is the mRNA vaccine considered a vaccine?

Yes. mRNA vaccines, such as Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, work differently than other types of vaccines, but they still trigger an immune response inside your body. This type of vaccine is new, but research and development on it has been under way for decades.

The mRNA vaccines do not contain any live virus. Instead, they work by teaching our cells to make a harmless piece of a “spike protein,” which is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19. After making the protein piece, cells display it on their surface. Our immune system then recognizes that it does not belong there and responds to get rid of it. When an immune response begins, antibodies are produced, creating the same response that happens in a natural infection.

In contrast to mRNA vaccines, many other vaccines use a piece of, or weakened version of, the germ that the vaccine protects against. This is how the measles and flu vaccines work. When a weakened or small part of the virus is introduced to your body, you make antibodies to help protect against future infection.

Do COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips?

No. COVID-19 vaccines do not contain microchips. Vaccines are developed to fight against disease and are not administered to track your movement. Vaccines work by stimulating your immune system to produce antibodies, exactly like it would if you were exposed to the disease. After getting vaccinated, you develop immunity to that disease, without having to get the disease first.

Can receiving a COVID-19 vaccine cause you to be magnetic?

No. Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will not make you magnetic, including at the site of vaccination which is usually your arm. COVID-19 vaccines do not contain ingredients that can produce an electromagnetic field at the site of your injection. All COVID-19 vaccines are free from metals.

Will a COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?

No.C OVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way. Both mRNA and viral vector COVID-19 vaccines deliver instructions (genetic material) to our cells to start building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. However, the material never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept.

Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?

No. None of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are similar to those experienced with other routine vaccines and are normal signs that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. Learn more abouthow COVID-19 vaccines work.

Exercise Intervention for Academic Achievement Among Children: A Trial

From Pediatrics

Physical inactivity is an important health concern worldwide. In this study, we examined the effects of an exercise intervention on children’s academic achievement, cognitive function, physical fitness, and other health-related outcomes.

We conducted a population-based cluster randomized controlled trial among 2301 fourth-grade students. The intervention group received a 3-minute high-intensity interval exercise program that included jumps, squats, and various steps implemented twice weekly over 10 weeks for 10 to 25 minutes per session. The control group received the usual physical education class. The primary outcome was academic achievement assessed by scores on the national examination. 

The lesson: exercise can help make your child SMART as well as fit!

Shared reading and risk of social-emotional problems

From Pediatrics December, 2021

In these times of non-stop video-gaming, we sometimes neglect to read to our children. A recent study in the journal Pediatrics reminds us of the importance of shared reading time.

The authors conducted a retrospective review of developmental screening results in over 5,000 children from age 2 ½ to 5 ½. Parents were asked how often they read with their children. The frequency of shared reading was divided into 3 groups: 5–7 days per week, 2–4 days per week, or 0–1 day per week. 

Children in the 0-1 days per week group reading had a significantly higher risk of social-emotional problems.

The lesson? We know it’s sometimes difficult to find the time, but it’s so important to share reading with your child. Read to your kids and, as soon as they’ve started reading, let them read to you.

Covid vaccines for kids and teens

From the CDC

The incredibly swift-moving Omicron variant is a good reminder that kids and teenagers can now get vaccinated against Covid. As far as which vaccines are available for children and teenagers, the chart above from the CDC gives the current information, as of January 2022. Check the CDC website regularly because this information is subject to change. As of January 2022, we at Kidfixers offer the Covid vaccine for all children, ages 5-11.

As far as boosters …

Finally, for up-to-date answers to almost any Covid-related question, check out the CDC’s Covid “SmartBot” at:


My child is a picky eater

From KidsHealth

My daughter would be happy eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. How can I get her to eat different foods?

It can be frustrating when kids want to eat the same thing every day — but it's not uncommon. Some kids get stuck on a favorite food while others complain they don't like certain foods, like vegetables.

Offer your daughter a variety of healthy foods. Encourage her to try the foods you serve, but don't force her to eat them. Set a good example by eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy protein.

Ask your daughter what fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods she is willing to try. Look for recipes with ingredients your kids like and invite them to join you in the grocery shopping, cooking, and serving of foods.

Since your daughter likes peanut butter, let her put it on other foods, like apples or celery. Sometimes preparing foods differently, presenting foods in interesting ways, or using cookie cutters to cut food into fun shapes can make foods more appealing to picky eaters.

It's important not to let a child's pickiness become a source of mealtime tension. Don't cook special meals just for a picky eater but do include something your daughter likes in every meal. Ask her to take at least two bites of what you made, but it's OK if she chooses not to eat more than that. And it might be tempting, but don't use food as a reward. Telling kids they can have a cookie if they eat their broccoli only reinforces the appeal of the cookie over the veggies.

The MyPlate Widget

Sometimes it can be difficult to make sure your child is getting all the nutrition that she (he) needs. To help guide you in your pursuit for the “perfect” meal plan, try surfing to the “MyPlate” site. They have a terrific “widget” which, with just a few entries and clicks, will tell you just how many servings of fruits, veggies, etc. your child needs. 

You’ll be prompted to enter your child’s age, weight, height and typical daily activity level. The number of calories will appear. If you click on this number, you’ll be sent to a page which will tell you just how those calories should be divided. It’s a pretty cool site. Check it out. Here’s the link:


How to Talk With Your Child About the War in Ukraine

From the AAP Website

The war in Ukraine is distressing to all of us. Children and teens are wondering what has happened and what may happen next. Like adults, they are better able to cope with upsetting news and images when they understand more about the situation.

Here are some suggestions to help you support your child in a constructive and helpful way.

Ask what your child has heard already

Start by asking your child what they already know. Many kids likely heard about the war in Ukraine and its regional and global impact. This information may come from TV, the internet, social media, school, friends or from overhead comments among adults. However, much of their information may not be accurate.

As children explain what they know about the situation, listen for misunderstandings or frightening rumors. Acknowledge confusion. You might explain that even adults do not know all that is going on—news reports can change quickly or provide conflicting viewpoints.

Respond with honest reassurance & don't discount fears

Adults are concerned about many of aspects of the crisis, such as the safety and well-being of civilians in Ukraine. They worry about whether Russia might use nuclear weapons, or may even attack the United States. They also have broader concerns about the financial impact the war may have here and the stress that may create for families.

Children may have some of these same concerns, but they often have very different ones, too. This is why it is so important that we ask them directly about their worries. Give honest explanations to correct misunderstandings or misinformation, but don't ignore or minimize their fears. Help your child identify ways to cope with anxiety, sadness and fears rather than pretend that they don't or shouldn't exist.

The older the child is, the more discussion they may need to answer their questions and address their concerns. Begin by providing the basic information in simple and direct terms. For example, explain how the war is likely to impact them and their family personally. Then ask if they have any questions.

Avoid exposure to graphic images & repetitive media coverage

It's helpful for children to know enough to feel they understand what has happened. But exposure to graphic images, massive amounts of information or continuous and repetitive media coverage isn't.

Interviews with people injured in war or the families and friends of those who died, even if they don't show any graphic violence or destruction, can also be very unsettling. They can trigger feelings of grief in children who have experienced the death of a friend or family member, even if unrelated to violence.

Recognize that some children may be at greater risk of distress

Children and teens understand and react to distressing events differently based on their developmental age and unique personal experiences. Some children will feel the impact more than others and may need more help coping. Obviously, if children have family or friends in Ukraine, this war will feel very close to home. But children with no personal relationship to Ukraine or its people may also be at risk of troubling reactions.

For example, children who live in communities with high rates of violence may become more concerned about their own physical safety. Those who are part of communities that have experienced racial biasmay feel a rise of distress and anger when hearing about acts of aggression and bias in Ukraine.

Provide thoughtful answers to common questions

Children and teens are likely to ask a number of common questions in times of crisis and upheaval. Choose answers that provide honest information and helpful reassurance. Some examples:

Could I have done anything to prevent this?

Many of us are wondering if our country could have done more to prevent this war from happening. Even though it seems obvious to adults that there is nothing children could have done to prevent the war, children may feel helpless and wish they could have changed what has happened. Let children know that this is a common reaction—we all wish that there is something we could have done.

Whose fault is it?

It is natural to engage in thoughts of blame. In some ways, blaming is a way we feel we can regain control of uncomfortable feelings and diminish a sense of personal risk. However, when individuals and groups take violent, aggressive action against those they deem "responsible," their actions are often misdirected and harm innocent people.

They may focus on people who are easy to identify for blame—such as people who look like they might belong to a group that includes those responsible. This misguided blame does not ease the immediate feelings of grief and fear. They complicate and worsen matters instead of providing solutions for the future. We must remember that not all citizens of Russia are responsible for the actions of the Russian government. People of Russian descent, including American citizens, should not be blamed for the war, but they may become frightened if they feel wrongly accused or worry about being targeted.

As Americans, we take pride that our population includes many different races, religions, sexual orientations and ethnic backgrounds. This is a time to join together in our country and continue to be inclusive, accepting and supportive of all who seek peace.

Is this going to change my life?

Children and teens are often very concerned about themselves. When there is a crisis, they may become even more concerned about what affects them personally. They may act immaturely. Sometimes adults see this as being selfish or uncaring. Expect children to think more about themselves for the time being. Once they feel reassured that they are being listened to and their needs will be met, they are more likely to be able to start to think about the needs of others.

Don't worry about the perfect thing to say

Often what children and teens need most is to have someone they trust listen to their questions, accept their feelings and be there for them. Don't worry about knowing the perfect thing to say—there is no answer that will make everything okay. Listen to their thoughts and concerns. Answer their questions with simple, direct, and honest responses. Provide appropriate reassurance and support.

While we would all want to keep children from ever having to hear about the horrors of war, the ready availability of news and images of the war does not allow this. Being silent about the war won't protect children from what happened—it will only prevent them from understanding and coping with it. Not communicating about what is happening in the war may actually increase anxiety, leading children to imagine that there are more dangerous and personally threatening events about to occur.

War is distressing—children may feel upset

During these discussions, children may show that they are upset. They may cry, get anxious or cranky, or show you in some other way that they are struggling. Remember, it is the details about the war that are upsetting them, not the discussion.

Talking about the war will give them the opportunity to show you how upset they really are. This is the first step in coping with their feelings and adjusting to their new understanding of the world. Pause the conversation periodically so that you can provide support and comfort. If they are quite upset, ask if they want to continue the discussion at another time.

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The Kidfixer Newsletter            Spring, 2022