COVID-19 Vaccination for Young People FAQs
Is my child able to receive a COVID-19 Vaccine?
Children ages 6 months and older are eligible.
Does my child need a booster dose?
Everyone ages 5 years and older is eligible to get a booster. Your child should get theirs so that they are stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines.
- People ages 5 years and older may only get the updated (bivalent) booster. They can no longer get an original (monovalent) booster.
- Children ages 6 years and older can get either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna updated (bivalent) booster. Children that are 5 years old can only get the Pfizer-BioNTech updated (bivalent) booster.
Why should I vaccinate my child for COVID-19?
Children are as likely to be infected with COVID-19 as adults and can
- Get very sick from COVID-19
- Die from COVID-19
- Have both short and long-term health complications from COVID-19
- Spread COVID-19 to others, including at home and school
Vaccination helps prevent serve illness and hospitalization in children and can help protect loved ones. Vaccinating children can also help keep them in school and allow them to safely participate in sports and other social activities.
Are COVID-19 vaccinations safe for my child?
Yes, COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Scientists conducted clinical trials with thousands of children before recommending COVID-19 vaccines for children. During the trials, no serious safety concerns were identified, and the vaccines receive ongoing monitoring for safety.
What side effects may my child experience after the COVID-19 vaccine?
Mild side effects are expected. Common side effects include a sore arm, headache, fever, and tiredness - but these usually don't last long and are not serious or dangerous. These are signs that the vaccine is working to stimulate the immune system. Even if you or your child don't get side effects, the vaccine is still working! More serious side effects are extremely rare and much less common than the complications from getting COVID-19.
For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine for children, please visit these sites:
How does COVID-19 impact babies, young children, and teens?
Symptoms in children range from infection without symptoms to mild upper respiratory symptoms with runny nose and cough, to pneumonia requiring hospitalization. Children with underlying medical conditions are more at risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared with children without underlying medical conditions.
While most children recover from COVID-19 without any serious complications, as of May 2022, children had experienced more than 124,000 COVID-19 related hospitalizations and more than 1500 deaths from COVID-19.
Children who get infected with COVID-19 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. As of May 2022, more than 8,200 cases of MIS-C have been reported in children.
Last Updated: November 17, 2022