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Scout Gets a Shot

Scout's Story

Scout with her mom, looking at a fish tank in the doctor's office
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Hi. I'm Scout. Last week I went to the public health office for my checkup. While I was there I had to get a vaccine.

Now, I'm just a regular kid. So I don't really like vaccines! Some people call them "shots", "vaccinations" or "immunizations." I don't care what people call them. They're still not very fun.

But I learned some things about why kids need vaccines. And I learned how to get ready for having one. That made things a little easier this time.

Scout thinks about her baby brother and about doing a handstand in the pool
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I already knew that vaccines help me stay healthy. Staying healthy means I can keep doing fun things. It means I can play with friends at the park and go swimming at the city pool. Those are some of my favourite ways to have fun.

A new thing I learned is that when I get my vaccines, I help keep other people healthy too. Like my cute, squishy, teeny-tiny baby brother! When I get vaccines, it helps me protect him from germs that could make him extra sick. That makes me feel like a very good big sister.

Scout thinks about her baby brother pinching her on the arm
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Getting a vaccine feels like a little pinch. It feels like when my baby brother pinches me. Sometimes after a vaccine, my arm feels a little sore the next day, but that's it. It's not like when I get a scraped knee or something. That keeps hurting for days!

I think one of the hardest parts about getting a vaccine is waiting for it to happen. My brain starts thinking about it too much and picturing what it will be like. Then, when it's over, it's never as bad as my brain thought it would be.

Scout points at her right arm while her mom holds up books to choose from
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Here's what happened.

Before we went to the public health office, I made a plan with my mom for how to be ready for the vaccine. When we got to the public health office, I told the nurse about my plan right away.

I said, "I choose my right arm for the vaccine."

I used to like to sit on my mom's lap. Now that I'm bigger, I like sitting on the chair myself.

Scout sits on a tall table, hugging her mom and reading a book
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My mom stood next to me while I sat on the chair. I hugged her while we read my favourite book. It's the one about the fish who learns to fly.

Sometimes we sing songs together instead of reading. Or we take a really big breath, and then puff out all the air while the nurse gives me the vaccine. I like to try different things to see what works best.

Scout gets a shot in her arm and then gets a bandage
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I don't like to watch. But some kids like to see and that's okay too!

While my mom read, the nurse cleaned a spot on my arm with a little wet paper. Then she gave me the vaccine. Then we were done! It was fast.

Scout with her mom as the nurse gives Scout a high five
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Sometimes getting a vaccine makes me cry a little. It's okay to cry.

This time I didn't cry. The nurse gave me a high five.

She said, "Scout, you did such a great job today! You had a very good plan for how to be ready for your vaccine."

I felt proud of being ready and of being brave. I'm glad it will be a little while before I need a vaccine again. The next time I have a vaccine, I won't worry too much. I know what happens and how to make a plan!

That's Scout's story about getting a vaccine. What can you do to get ready for your vaccine? Do you know what you want to do while you're getting your vaccine? What will make you feel better when it's over?

Adapted with permission from copyrighted materials from Healthwise, Incorporated (Healthwise). This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty and is not responsible or liable for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.