1. COVID-19 vaccination for children is safe.
Before recommending COVID-19 vaccination for children, scientists conducted clinical trials. Then, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective, and authorized it for emergency use in children.
Ongoing safety monitoring shows that COVID-19 vaccination continues to be safe for children and that the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks.
Learn more about the safety of COVID-19 vaccination for children
Tips for parents and Caregivers:
- Before vaccination, tell the vaccine provider about any allergies your child may have—just like what you would do when your child receives their routine vaccines.
- Requesting accommodations at COVID-19 vaccination sites: When making an appointment or arriving for vaccination, you can let staff and/or volunteers know your child might need some accommodations. By law, children are also allowed to have a service animal accompany them. Learn more about COVID-19 Vaccination for Children and Teens with Disabilities.
2. Getting vaccinated can help protect children against COVID-19.
Vaccinating children can:
- Prevent children from getting seriously sick if they do get COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccination continues to protect children against severe disease, including hospitalization. There is no way to tell in advance how children will be affected by COVID-19. Children with underlying medical conditions are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. However, healthy children without underlying medical conditions can also experience severe illness.
- Keep children safely in childcare and school and participating in sports, playdates, extracurricular activities, and other group activities.
- Learn more about protecting your family against COVID-19.
- Questions You Can Ask Your School to Learn More About Their COVID-19 Precautions
3. Children may have some side effects after COVID-19 vaccination.
Reported side effects are like those experienced after routine vaccines. Side effects may affect your child’s ability to do daily activities, but they should go away within a few days. Side effects are more common after the second shot. Some children have no side effects.
Learn more about potential side effects in children after COVID-19 vaccination.
4. A different dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine is given to children.
The COVID-19 vaccine for children has the same active ingredients as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine given to people ages 12 years and older. However, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for teens and adults cannot be given to children ages 5 through 11 years.
Children receive a smaller dose of COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 vaccine dosage is based on age on the day of vaccination, not by patient weight. This is also true for other routinely recommended vaccines, like hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines.
Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine dosage for children.
5. Children who have already had COVID-19 should still get vaccinated.
Emerging evidence indicates that people can get added protection by getting vaccinated after they have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.
If your child tests positive for COVID-19 after getting their first shot, they should wait until their isolation period has ended before getting their second shot. The second dose is recommended at least 3 weeks after the first dose. For children 12 years and older without a weakened immune system, the time between doses 1 and 2 can be up to 8 weeks.
6. Children can safely receive other vaccines the same day they receive their COVID-19 vaccine.
Routine vaccination is an important preventive care service that should not be delayed.
If multiple vaccines are given at a single visit, each injection will be given in a different injection site, according to recommendations by age.