Children and the COVID-19 Vaccine
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Children and the COVID-19 Vaccine

by Alexa Styliadis

The CDC recommends children ages 12+ get the COVID-19 Vaccine

Information on safety, possible side effects, and tips on what to do before, during and after your child’s vaccination


Q: Why does your child need a COVID-19 vaccine?
A: COVID-19 vaccines help protect kids from getting COVID-19 and from getting seriously ill even if they do get COVID-19. 

Q: Are COVID-19 vaccines safe for my child?
A: Yes. The COVID-19 vaccine provides safe and effective protection against the virus. The COVID-19 vaccines have been used under the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. In the clinical trial for children ages 12 through 15, the Pfizer vaccine was 100% effective at preventing COVID-19 with symptoms.

Before, during and after your child’s vaccination:

  • Tell the doctor or nurse about any allergies your child may have
  • Your child will need 2 shots given 3 weeks (21 days) apart to get the most protection
  • After your child’s vaccination, you will be asked to stay for 15 minutes so your child can be observed in case of a rare allergic reaction

Q: What are the side effects?
A: Your child may have some side effects, which are normal signs that their body is building protection. These side effects may affect your child’s ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Some people have no side effects. Side effects from the second shot may be more intense than the ones your child experienced after their first shot. The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination far outweigh any potential risk of side effects.

Possible side effects after COVID-19 vaccination include:

  • Pain, redness, or swelling on the arm where the shot was given
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea

Contact your child’s doctor or healthcare provider:

  • If the redness or tenderness where the shot was given gets worse after 24 hours.
  • If the side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days.

Q: How much does the COVID-19 vaccine cost?
A: The federal government is providing COVID-19 vaccines free of charge to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status.

Q: Where can I learn more?
A: Talk to your child’s doctor to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines that your child may need. You can also find out more on our website or www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.


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