a child gives a thumbs up after getting a vaccination. They have a bandage on their upper arm and are wearing a mask.Getting a vaccination can be a stressful experience for kids (and some adults). Routine childhood vaccinations can seem unnecessary to a kid who has never seen rubella, whooping cough, or measles, but kids have seen first-hand what COVID can do, from a loved one getting really sick to cancelling school, sports, and other activities. It’s rare that kids are excited to get a vaccine, but COVID has made it so many kids are more than ready to roll up their sleeves.

We asked vaccinated kids to tell us a little bit about why they wanted to get vaccinated, how they felt during the experience, and their tips for kids like them who might be scared to get a shot. Their candid, smart, and beautiful responses are below:

Why did you want to get vaccinated?

  • I wanted to get vaccinated because then I knew that I wouldn’t get as sick if I got COVID. (A, age 5)
  • I wanted to get vaccinated because the sooner COVID ends the sooner people get healthier and live a better life without a mask. (D, age 9)
  • Mostly because COVID got really high, and I wanted to be immune to it. (E, age 8)
  • So I could stay safe from COVID. (S, age 6)
  • Because I want COVID to stop, so people don’t get sick and I don’t want people to get sick from that sickness. (D, age 8)
  • Because we didn’t want me to get sick. (F, age 7)
  • Because I wouldn’t get affected by COVID that much. (L, age 9)
  • I wanted to get vaccinated so that I could become protected against COVID-19. A few friends and members of my family got COVID-19 and became very ill. It did not look fun. (A, age 12)
  • I was excited to NOT get COVID and if I did get COVID, then I would be covered and my big white blood cells would fight the little germs. (A, age 9)
  • Because I don’t want to get sick. (M, age 5)
  • So I’d be more safe in a situation like now, my little sister [who can’t get vaccinated yet] has COVID. I didn’t get it. (G, age 6)

How did you feel before getting your shot?

  • I felt nervous but I faced through my fears (A, age 5)
  • A little nervousness a little bit of excitement, in the middle. I felt in the middle of nervousness and excitement. (D, age 9)
  • Kind of nervous for the first one. Scared! (E, age 8)
  • Nervous. (S, age 6)
  • I felt like kind of scared but normal I knew my family was getting healthier that’s why I felt safe. (D, age 8)
  • Really nervous. (F, age 7)
  • Nervous and scared. (L, age 9)
  • Before getting my shot I felt very nervous and excited. (A, age 12)
  • I was scared. (O, age 5)
  • Scared. (M, age 5)
  • A little bit scared. (G, age 6)

How did you feel while getting your shot?

  • Tiny bit of pain, really tiny bit of hurt, more excitement and not nervous anymore. (D, age 9)
  • I felt confident during my second shot, but really scared during my first. (E, age 8)
  • It hurt a little bit but not a lot. It pinched a little. (S, age 6)
  • I felt really scared because I thought it was going to hurt but I let them do it because I knew it would help me and I didn’t want to get sick or hurt. (D, age 8)
  • Really scared. (F, age 7)
  • I felt kind of scared but knew it was going to be okay. (L, age 9)
  • During, I was panicking because I really don’t like shots. (A, age 12)
  • I was crying and you [mom] were hugging me. (O, age 5)
  • Happy. (M, age 5)
  • Proud. (G, age 6)

How did you feel after getting your shot?

  • I felt kind of like happy that I got my shot because I knew I wouldn’t get as much COVID if I did it (A, age 5)
  • Very excited that we were getting one step closer of ending COVID. Very excited and happy and relieved! (D, age 9)
  • On the first time it kind of hurt, but on the second time it didn’t hurt so much. I felt really good that I got my shot. (E, age 8)
  • I felt a little… my arm felt a little tired. [parent: how did you feel emotionally?] I felt nice. (S, age 6)
  • I felt kind of sad because it was a shot but I didn’t want to make other kids scared about taking the shot but I felt really happy because it passed and it was a tiny shot plus it was going to help me get better so I felt pretty good. (D, age 8)
  • Happy. (F, age 7)
  • I felt good cuz I’m vaccinated against COVID. (L, age 9)
  • After I was excited especially because I had no side effects at all. (A, age 12)
  • I laughed. It went really fast. I was brave and we got to go to Target. (O, age 5)
  • Happy. (M, age 5)
  • Surprised. Because I didn’t think it was going to be that quick. It’s hard to notice the COVID vaccine, it just looks like a freckle. (G, age 6)

What’s the best part about being vaccinated?

  • Well, you don’t get COVID as easy [and] I’m keeping my baby brother safe. (A, age 5)
  • Is that we don’t have to worry as much as if we didn’t have the vaccine. For example if I got COVID without the vax it would be much worse than if I didn’t have the vaccine so what I’m trying to say is that now I do not have to worry as much. (D, age 9)
  • I’d say probably being immune to COVID. (E, age 8)
  • There’s a less percent chance you’ll get COVID. (S, age 6)
  • That is helping shrink COVID from the world and I’m feeling really happy because I’m helping people and I feel happy when I help people and that’s why I took the shot. I just want COVID to end without not getting hurt. (D, age 8)
  • I got 2 suckers and ice cream. (F, age 7)
  • I won’t get COVID…or just not as severe. (L, age 9)
  • The best part of being vaccinated is that I can go places not worrying about getting COVID-19 or if I do get COVID-19 I won’t have harsh symptoms. (A, age 12)
  • I get to stay in school when my schoolmates are sick, and I make signs for them when they come back. I get to play with my cousins more. (O, age 5)
  • That you’re healthy and you don’t get sick as much. (M, age 5)
  • So I’d be more safe if I ever got COVID. And I can play hockey. (G, age 6)
  • Well I would like to say something. I do really like getting vaccinated. I am excited to go on a plane trip and go to Legoland and Disneyworld. (E, age 8)
  • I’m excited to go to the children’s museum. And I want to visit someone far away like Grandma and Grandpa. (S, age 6)

Did you do anything to celebrate after you got your shot?

  • They gave us lollipops and suckers. We went to grab our favorite ice creams! And celebrated for being brave girls! (D, age 9)
  • We did get a special Panera breakfast. (E, age 8)
  • We got a special breakfast. I got… I think you got a sandwich. I got a cookie… no I got a muffin actually. Yeah I got a pumpkin muffin. (S, age 6)
  • We got delicious food and my parents were very proud of me for not crying very badly just a little badly. (D, age 8)
  • I got ice cream. (F, age 7)
  • Yes, I got ice cream. (L, age 9)
  • After I got my shot I got a Starbucks Strawberry Frappe, it was really good. (A, age 12)
  • I got to pick out a mosasaur from Target! (O, age 5)
  • Mommy surprised me with cowgirl boots I’d been wanting for a while. (M, age 5)
  • We got ice cream and hot chocolate. Took a picture with my card [vaccine card]. (G, age 6)

What would you tell other kids like you who might be scared to get vaccinated?

  • I would tell them that there’s nothing to worry about. It’s gonna be ok cause you’ll be vaccinated. It is fast and it does not hurt for a long time. (A, age 5)
  • I would tell them if you get this one shot you don’t have to get lots of other painful shots. For example: If you don’t get this shot, you can get very sick and hurt and need many other shots which is worse. (D, age 9)
  • Maybe bring a book, something to do, maybe watch a little video on your phone. Just close your eyes and imagine something. (E, age 8)
  • Focus on something else like reading or something if you’re scared. It’s over really fast. (S, age 6)
  • It’s ok! I know! I was also really scared but it’s ok plus you’ll also get to help others and the whole world. If you do it you are amazing, you are also amazing if you don’t do it. I believe in you! You’re amazing! (D, age 8)
  • It’s not that scary. It feels like a little pinch. (F, age 7)
  • It’s okay. Even though it may be scary, it’s okay. You won’t get hurt by COVID that badly. (L, age 9)
  • I would tell others kids that are scared that it is more scary before but after, you will feel relieved after the long 2 years waiting to get vaccinated. (A, age 12)
  • You can be brave and healthy and you might get a sticker and a sucker from the shot place [clinic] like me. (O, age 5)
  • It doesn’t really hurt. Think about something happy or bring something you like with you, like a stuffy. (M, age 5)
  • It’s only hurts for like 12 seconds and it’s very quick. Don’t worry. (G, age 6)

Ready to get your shot like these smart and brave kiddos? We give COVID vaccinations at our East Washington and South Park offices, as well as over a dozen mobile clinics throughout the county. Pharmacies and health care providers near you may also offer the vaccine. Find options and learn more on our website.

This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison - Public Health Madison & Dane County and a link back to the original post.