Why does my child need to be vaccinated? COVID-19 can be serious in children. Vaccination can help protect them from getting COVID-19 and help keep them from getting seriously sick if they do get infected. Vaccination can also help protect siblings who are not eligible for vaccination and other vulnerable family members. Vaccination can help keep kids in school and help them safely participate in sports, playdates, and other group activities.
COVID-19 isn’t even really serious for kids, is it?
COVID-19 can make children very sick. Some children with COVID-19 need to be hospitalized and some children have died. Children can also develop serious complications like multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) —a condition where different body parts become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. And some children can develop post-COVID complications (also called long-COVID).
Is it safe for my children to get vaccinated against COVID-19? Scientists have conducted clinical trials with thousands of children, and the results show that the vaccine is safe and effective. In the clinical trials, no serious safety concerns were identified and the side effects that were reported were mild, didn’t last long, and were similar to those experienced after routine vaccines. The safety of COVID-19 vaccine continues to be monitored.
Which COVID-19 vaccine will my child get? The Pfzer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is currently the only vaccine that children ages 5 through 17 years can get. The Pfzer-BioNTech vaccine for children ages 5 through 11 years has the same active ingredients as the vaccine given to adults and adolescents. However, the PfzerBioNTech vaccine that is given to adults and adolescents cannot be used for children ages 5 through 11 years. The vaccine for children comes in a different vial with a different color cap to make it clear which vaccine is for children ages 5 through 11 years and which is for people 12 years and older.
What is the difference between the dose for my child and the dose for adults? Unlike many medications, COVID-19 vaccine dosage does not vary by patient weight but by age on the day of vaccination. Children ages 5 through 11 years get an age-appropriate dose. Just like for adolescents and adults, children ages 5 through 11 years will receive 2 doses of the vaccine three weeks apart.