The Building for Kids is joining forces with local community partners this fall to offer vaccine clinics to our community. In partnership with the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin, they’re providing sensory-friendly vaccine clinics at the BFK. These clinics will provide families with the support they need to make getting a COVID-19 vaccine a little easier for those needing more options to create a positive vaccine experience. They’re also making it a fun outing with pizza and play when the vaccine is complete! In addition, the Building for Kids is partnering with the Appleton Health Department to offer vaccines for those 6 months and older at the museum. Families can also play at the BFK for free before and after their vaccine.
We believe everyone deserves access to factual information to guide decision-making for their families. COVID vaccines for kids are now readily available in our community in a variety of settings for all children ages 6 months and older.
We’ve spent time talking with public health experts over the past year and have spoken with local parents about their experiences and tips for making it through the vaccine process. We’re thankful to be able to share what we learn with our readers.
As always, we appreciate and welcome feedback. When you provide feedback or comments, we ask that you keep in mind that we have worked to maintain a positive and supportive community.
Thanks to our Sponsor
The Building for Kids Children’s Museum seeks to be a reliable resource of information to promote the well-being of children and their grownups throughout our community. The BFK received a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services in support of their work to promote vaccine confidence and accessibility.
- Thanks to our Sponsor
- What Are Sensory Friendly Vaccine Clinics?
- Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
- Upcoming Vaccine Clinics & Events for Kids in the Fox Valley
- How to Prepare for Vaccines?
What Are Sensory Friendly Vaccine Clinics?
“This was by far the smoothest vaccination my son has received. The different tools used to distract and make him as comfortable and relaxed as possible. He only wants to get vaccines here now!” – Feedback from a recent Sensory Friendly COVID-19 Clinic.
These clinics hosted by the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin and Building for Kids offer longer appointment times, extra support, and tools to help with injection anxiety/pain. Clinics are open to Autistic children & adults, their family members, and anyone else who would benefit from a modified vaccination process.
Sensory Friendly Vaccine Clinics are designed to provide a flexible, supportive, and calm environment during the vaccination process. While each clinic will look different, generally, participants will have access to the following accommodations/tools:
- A social narrative to prepare for the visit—download here!
- One-on-one trained support staff
- Visual schedule
- Sensory fidgets
- Shotblocker to help with injection pain
- Buzzy Bee to help with injection pain
- Sensory tools like weighted blankets, calming sensory water toys, noise-canceling headphones, etc.
- Other individualized accommodations can be arranged – please just ask!
Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
Why should my child get vaccinated?
COVID-19 can sicken people of all ages. There’s no way to predict how your child might be affected by COVID.
Among children under age 18 in the United States who’ve gotten COVID-19:
- Tens of thousands have been hospitalized
- Hundreds have died
- Even if your child doesn’t get very sick, a COVID-19 infection could still cause health problems down the road.
Your child can also spread the virus to someone who is at risk for severe illness—like a grandparent, someone at church, a teacher at school, or anyone in your community.
The vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death due to COVID-19.
How do we know the vaccines are safe for kids?
The COVID-19 vaccine for children has been through rigorous testing and thorough review by the FDA and CDC.
Thousands of children participated in the clinical trials. Among those who received the vaccine, it was shown to be safe and effective at preventing COVID-19.
COVID-19 vaccines are the most closely monitored vaccines in U.S. history. And the FDA and CDC will continue to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, including among children.
Where can my child get vaccinated?
Everyone age 6 months and older can now get a COVID-19 vaccine.
You have three ways to find vaccines near you:
- Go to vaccines.gov
- Text your ZIP code to 438829
- Call 1-800-232-0233
What is the recommended timetable for COVID vaccines?
Upcoming Vaccine Clinics & Events for Kids in the Fox Valley
Sensory Friendly Vaccine Clinic Hosted in Partnership with Thedacare, the Building for Kids Children’s Museum, and Wisconsin Early Autism Project
- Monday, September 26, 2022: 3:30 – 7 pm
- Monday, October 24, 2022: 3:30 – 7 pm
This clinic will offer Moderna vaccines and boosters to eligible community members. There is no cost for participants. Parents and other family members are welcome to schedule their vaccines or boosters. Pizza will be available for dinner, and participants are welcome to play in the museum after receiving their vaccines.
Participating families will receive a $100 gift certificate to the Building for Kids Children’s Museum.
COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Hosted in Partnership with the Building for Kids Children’s Museum and Appleton Health Department
- Monday, September 12, 2022: 3 – 6:30 pm
- Monday, September 19, 2022: 3 – 6:30 pm
This clinic will offer Moderna vaccines for those ages 6 months to 5 years and Pfizer vaccines for those 5 and older. There is no cost for participants. Participants can play in the museum for free before and after their vaccination.
All kids 12 and under who attend one of these vaccine clinics for the first time will receive a free 3-month membership to the Building for Kids when they receive their first, second, or booster shot.
Sensory Friendly Vaccine Clinic Hosted in Partnership with Bellin Health & Milestones Behavioral Pediatrics
- Saturday, September 24, 2022: 8:30 am – Noon
This clinic will offer the Moderna vaccine to those between 6 months and 5 years old, along with boosters (Pfizer, Moderna) to eligible community members. The flu shot will also be available at the September 24th clinic. Parents and other family members are welcome to schedule their vaccines or boosters.
Individuals/families traveling over 20 miles (one way) to the clinic will receive a $25 Kwik Trip fuel gift card!
To schedule an appointment, please call 920-445-7313 and ask to schedule an appointment at Milestones clinic in De Pere. When asked, please provide your email address to the scheduler so that we can contact you prior to the event with details.
How to Prepare for Vaccines?
- Be honest with your child: Shots can pinch or sting, but they don’t hurt for long.
- Help your child see vaccines as a good thing. Tell them vaccines keep them safe from germs that might make them sick.
- Don’t tell your child scary stories or make threats about shots.
- Bring a favorite toy or blanket for your child to hug.
- Hold your child in a comforting position, such as on your lap.
- Distract your child, such as with a story, a video, or a conversation.
- Ask the vaccine provider if they have a numbing ointment or spray to apply before the shot.
- Hug and praise your child.
- Remind your child why vaccines are good. Tell them their body is already making germ fighters to keep them safe and healthy.
- Consider rewarding your child, such as with a treat or a sticker.
To get the most protection from the vaccine, make sure your child receives the recommended number of doses within the proper timeline.
Talk to a doctor if you have questions about the vaccine for your specific family situation and health history.
For more information, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus.