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We are proud to share our recent article in the peer-reviewed journal Vaccines, looking at vaccine hesitancy among adolescents and their parents in the time of COVID-19.

Read the article here

COVID-19 and Adolescents

Learn more about Adolescents and COVID-19 Vaccines

COVID-19

Understanding the COVID-19 Vaccines

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, we have been bombarded with sometimes confusing information about COVID-19 care and prevention. Like many, adolescents and young adults – and their parents – have struggled to understand available information to make the best decisions for themselves. This resource is here to help answer your questions.

 

What do I need to know?

There are three vaccines authorized in the U.S. for COVID-19, but only one of the three is authorized for adolescents and young adults -- the  Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine,  which is authorized for people ages 5 years and older

 

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is administered with two shots, scheduled at least three weeks apart. Completing two shots is called completing the primary dose. It takes 2 weeks after the primary dose for the body to build protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. 

 

Some people have reported arm soreness at the injection site, which generally goes away quickly. Some people experience short-term side effects after being vaccinated, such as tiredness, headache, or chills. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they typically go away in a few days. These are normal signs that your body is building protection.

 

The CDC recommends that all people 12 and over receive a booster shot five months after their primary dose. A booster shot makes additional antibodies 24-48 hours after vaccination. Side effects to the booster dose are similar to the primary dose. You are considered up-to-date when you have received all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters.

 

How do vaccines work?

Vaccines work with your body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease. They familiarize your immune system with a specific disease-causing invader, or pathogen. Then your immune system recognizes and makes antibodies to that pathogen to fight the disease if you are infected in the future. Different vaccines do this in different ways by using different forms of the pathogen -- for example, a weakened (attenuated), inactivated, or component of the pathogen. 

 

Importantly, vaccines don’t make you sick with the pathogen they’re designed to protect you from. Instead, they give your immune system a practice run at counteracting a weaker, inactivated or partial version of the pathogen. 

What can you do to protect your teen?

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    Talk to your health care provider. They are ready to answer your questions and address your concerns.

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    Get members of your household the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can. The vaccine is the best protection against serious COVID-19 illness.

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    Continue mask-wearing, social distancing and other protocols in crowded environments to protect those at high risk.

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    Connect to and share Unity educational resources.

Resources for You

Emergency Use Authorization for COVID-19 Vaccine
CDC Vaccination Training for Healthcare Professionals
  • Who needs to be trained
  • Best practices
  • What clinicians need to know about Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines
  • Allergic reactions, contraindications and precautions
- CDC Framework for Healthcare systems providing non-COVID-19 Clinical Care During the COVID-19 pandemic
- The Pandemic Impact: Educational resource from Merck
- Guidance on pediatric preventive and non-urgent care from the AAP and AAFP
- Back to school preparedness

Although COVID-19 has brought many challenges when it comes to providing care for adolescents, it has also ushered in an unprecedented era of the integration of technology and medicine.  Hear from Dr. Irwin on what he has learned from this experience.

Dr. Irwin: Integration of Medicine and Technology

Dr. Irwin shares his UCSF adolescent and young adult clinic experience with dramatically increasing use of telehealth during the pandemic, and provides an insider look at a recently published review in the Journal of Adolescent Health

Dr Irwin: Integrating Telehealth into Adolescent Health Practice

Raising Awareness of Teen Vaccines Needed: Protection is a Snap.

Protection is a Snap (Spanish Version Available)

Raising Awareness of Teen Vaccines Needed: Protect Your Self(ie).

Protect Yourself(ie) (Spanish Version Available)

Protect & Connect Fact Sheet: Details on recommended adoleslescent vaccines and illnesses they protect.

Protect & Connect Fact Sheet

Emergency Use Authorization for COVID-19 Vaccine
Advice to support and help protect teens and young adults
Back to school

What can teens expect when getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

A panel discussion moderated by Dr. Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair of The Clinton Foundation with

  • Pia Valenzuela Escudero, Executive Director, Division of Student Health, Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Holly Hunt, Chief, Population Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
  • Dr. Charles Irwin, Director, Division of Adolescent Health, UCSF November 30, 2020
  • Robert Boyd, President, School Based Health Alliance

Supporting Families & Schools in Addressing Student Health

Protect & Connect Fact Sheet: Details on recommended adoleslescent vaccines and illnesses they protect.

Protect & Connect Fact Sheet

Protection from Vaccine-Preventable Diseases. Unity President talks about important vaccines recommended for teens at age 16 and Unity’s mission and resources

Judy Klein – Protection from Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

A quick reminder about the 2 vaccines to help protect against meningitis

If Only You Could Vaccinate Via Text (Spanish Version Available)

Prioritizing Adolescents: Vaccinate at Ages 11-12 & 16. Learn about the vaccines recommended for your child at ages 11-12 and 16

Prioritizing Adolescents: Vaccinate at Ages 11-12 & 16 (2 minutes)

Remember the 4 – Vaccines for Teens Infographic. Find out about the risks of vaccine preventable diseases and vaccine recommendations for teens by age.

Vaccines for Teens Infographic

A panel discussion moderated by Dr. Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair of The Clinton Foundation with

  • Pia Valenzuela Escudero, Executive Director, Division of Student Health, Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Holly Hunt, Chief, Population Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
  • Dr. Charles Irwin, Director, Division of Adolescent Health, UCSF November 30, 2020
  • Robert Boyd, President, School Based Health Alliance

Supporting Families & Schools in Addressing Student Health

Raising Awareness of Teen Vaccines Needed: Protection is a Snap.

Protection is a Snap (Spanish Version Available)

Raising Awareness of Teen Vaccines Needed: Protect Your Self(ie).

Protect Yourself(ie) (Spanish Version Available)

Remember the 4 – Vaccines for Teens Infographic. Find out about the risks of vaccine preventable diseases and vaccine recommendations for teens by age.

Vaccines for Teens Infographic