Big Kid Vaccines Are Here!

When I woke up Wednesday morning, my mom text threads were already on fire with the news that CVS and Walgreens had opened up Covid vaccine appointments for kids 5 and up. I felt a profound sense of relief as I nabbed slots for my 5- and 8-year-olds, and I wasn’t the only one. J. David Goodman, The New York Times Houston bureau chief, was on hand at Texas Children’s Hospital to see some of the first shots doled out to elementary schoolers in the United States. “This is the best day ever!” one child said.

Despite my own eagerness, I do empathize with parents who are hesitant to get their kids vaccinated, and I hope that with a little time to see how this all unfolds, their concerns will be eased: One of the moms I spoke to when I was reporting on vaccine hesitancy back in May told me that, despite her and her teenage daughter’s reservations, her daughter did ultimately get vaccinated. The teen’s friends had already received the shot, and she felt that getting vaccinated would allow her greater freedom. As of the end of September, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Covid-19 Vaccine Monitor, “nearly half” of parents of vaccine-eligible children 12 and over reported that their child had received at least one shot.

There’s also going to be a vaccine clinic at my children’s school, and that may be a key to encouraging families to get their children the shot. In August, KFF’s Vaccine Monitor also found that for children whose schools encouraged vaccination or provided vaccine information, parents were “more likely” to report that their child had received the vaccine.

Parents of kids under 5 who desperately want their kids to be vaccinated: I hear your frustration, and the wait must seem interminable. But hang in there: It’s been reported that Pfizer and BioNTech want to have data by the end of the year from their trials for kids 2 to 5.

Also this week: the hell that is the end of daylight saving time. Clocks fall back on Sunday, Nov. 7. Craig Canapari, the director of the Pediatric Sleep Center at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital and the author of “It’s Never Too Late to Sleep Train: The Low-Stress Way to High-Quality Sleep for Babies, Kids, and Parents,” has evergreen tips for how to make this shift less horrible. And Jane Coaston, who hosts The Times’s “The Argument” podcast, explores whether we should just do away with daylight saving time entirely — Arizona (except for territory of the Navajo Nation) and Hawaii do not observe it.

And speaking of sleep, I’m working on a future newsletter about why my kids still wake us up constantly in the middle of the night despite being out of the baby and toddler stage. If you’ve got anecdotes, thoughts, tips or tricks to share, drop me a line here.

P.S. My colleague Shira Ovide, who writes The Times’s On Tech newsletter, is hosting an event about how we might have healthier conversations online. Anyone who has witnessed a Facebook parent group meltdown may be interested in attending.

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