SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Doctors Mark Ghaly and Erica Pan have led California’s battle against COVID-19, but they both are also parents and on Saturday shared what they have been telling their children about the importance of getting vaccinated.

Currently, children as young as 12 can receive a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination in California.

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Ghaly, the state’s Health and Human Services Agency Secretary, has four children. He said it’s important for parents to sit down and address the concerns their children may have.

“”My wife and I sat down and had a really thoughtful conversation with her, answered all the questions,” he said of his conversations with his daughter before she was vaccinated last week. “Would it hurt? Does it feel any different than the flu shot? Would she be sore the next day? What would it allowed her to do if she got vaccinated? Would she be the only one among her friends if she does get vaccinated?”

“Having that conversation gave her the confidence to go in and get the jab that I hope so many young people in California get,” he continued. “Getting that jab, getting that shot, is going to help us to get back to the activities we have missed for so long. Children, in particular, have had their lives turned upside down.”

Ghaly, who is also pediatrician, said he understands concerns parents may have.

“Parents want nothing more than to protect their kids,” he said. “To give them that chance to grow up to be healthy, productive young adults and to enjoy some of the things we get to enjoy ourselves. COVID-19 vaccine help us do that. Helps us get back to that normal.”

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Besides her duties as a pediatrician and the state’s epidemiologist, Pan is also the mother of two teenagers.

“As a physician and a mother, I want to reassure parents and guardians that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been proven to be safe and effective in youths 12 to 15,” she said.

“My husband, who is also a pediatrician, and I talked with our children about the vaccine,” Pan continued. “We agreed that getting the vaccine is a big step in helping them return to doing the things they love — hanging out with friends and enjoying school clubs and activities.”

Health officials told Scientific American when it comes to your children, some non-severe side effects may be experienced following a vaccination. The most commonly reported side effects have been pain and swelling at the injection site.

Other common side effects include tiredness and headache. Similar to young adults, some adolescents have experienced fever, chills, muscle aches and joint pain, which may be more common after the second dose. These effects are short-lived, however, and most resolve within one to two days.

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Some adolescents may also faint when receiving an injection. If this is a concern for your child, let your vaccine administration site know ahead of time – your child can be given the vaccine while they’re seated or lying down to avoid injuries from falling.