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Vaccines & Children (5-11)

On November 2, the CDC announced that emergency use authorization for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been expanded to include children ages 5-11. This means anyone over the age of 5 is now eligible to receive the vaccine. The vaccination dose for children ages 5-11 is one-third of an adult dose and will still require two shots.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine?
Your child may have some side effects, which are normal signs that their body is building protection.

  • On the arm where they got the shot:
    • Pain
    • Redness
    • Swelling
  • Throughout the rest of their body:
    • Tiredness
    • Headache
    • Muscle pain
    • Chills
    • Fever
    • Nausea

Are the COVID-19 vaccines effective in children?
Similar to what was seen in adult vaccine trials, vaccination was nearly 91 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 among children aged 5-11 years. In clinical trials, vaccine side effects were mild, self-limiting, and similar to those seen in adults and with other vaccines recommended for children. The most common side effect was a sore arm.

Should I be worried about how quickly these vaccines were created?
No. The reason the COVID-19 vaccines were able to be made so quickly is that the government provided extra money
to support the research and production. The quality of the trials and the review of the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines has not changed from normal processes.

How many doses will my child need?
The Pfizer vaccine is given in 2 doses, with the second dose coming 3 weeks after the first. Eventually, there may be other vaccines available with different schedules.

After my child gets a COVID-19 vaccine, can we stop wearing masks?
No. Mask-wearing recommendations will stay the same at first. The biggest benefit of getting the vaccine is to protect against severe disease from COVID-19. Whether or not the vaccine prevents people from having COVID-19 without symptoms and spreading it to others is still being studied. Also, it’s going to take a long time to get enough people vaccinated to keep the virus from spreading.

Can the vaccine affect fertility or my teens’ menstrual cycles?
There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has stated that unfounded claims linking COVID-19 vaccines to infertility have been scientifically disproven and recommends COVID-19 vaccination for all eligible people who may consider future pregnancy. While some vaccinated adults have reported changes in their period after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, the information is only anecdotal and the changes have not been directly linked to vaccination.

Does it matter how much my child weighs?
There are no patient weight requirements for the COVID-19 vaccine. Dosage does NOT vary by patient.

My child has already had COVID-19. Do they still need the vaccine?
Yes, everyone eligible should be vaccinated regardless of whether they have already had COVID-19 because:

  • Research has not yet shown how long you are protected from getting COVID-19 again after you recover from COVID-19.
  • Vaccination helps protect you even if you’ve already had COVID-19.

Could a person get COVID-19 from a COVID-19 vaccine?
No. None of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are signs that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.

How much will the vaccine cost me?
According to the CDC, vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to Americans at no cost to the individuals. However, vaccination providers may charge an administration fee for giving the shot.