Vaccine for Kids

Now that a COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for kids ages 5-11, you may have questions or concerns – that’s okay. We encourage you to review this information and talk to your child’s healthcare provider if you have more questions.

The Vaccine is Safe

  • The COVID-19 vaccines have been rigorously tested and reviewed, and as with all vaccines, continue to be monitored for safety. Hundreds of millions of adults and teenagers have been safely vaccinated in the U.S.

  • Data from clinical trials shows that the vaccine is safe for younger kids.

  • Children may have mild side effects, such as a sore arm, fatigue, headache, or slight fever, and most pass in one or two days. These are normal signs that their body is building protection. Serious side effects are rare and treatable.

  • You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine.

  • There is no evidence that the vaccine, or any other vaccines, cause fertility problems.

  • The risk of myocarditis (inflammation in the heart) is rare. In fact, getting COVID-19 increases the risk of developing myocarditis.

The Vaccine is Effective

  • Vaccinated people are much less likely to get sick.

  • The vaccine greatly lowers the risk of serious illness, long-lasting COVID-19 symptoms, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
     

Vaccines Keep Kids in School & Activities

  • Vaccinated children are much less likely to get sick. That means they are less likely to miss school, sports and social activities with friends and family.

  • Vaccinated students don’t need to quarantine if they’re exposed to someone with COVID-19 as long as they remain symptom-free. That means they won’t miss class and caregivers don’t have to take time off work.
     

Vaccines Protect Us All

  • While kids tend to get less sick from COVID-19 than adults, they can still get and spread the virus to others who are more vulnerable to serious illness or can’t get vaccinated. 

  • The more people who are vaccinated, the less likely that COVID-19 spreads, making everyone safer.

  • Getting vaccinated can help stop new, more dangerous variants from emerging.

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A widowed mother's plea for people to get a COVID-19 vaccine

What to Expect

  • Your child will need 2 doses of the vaccine at least 3 weeks apart for full protection.

  • Kids get a smaller dose and a smaller needle than adults.

  • If your child is feeling nervous:

    • Think about when to tell them about their appointment. Some people recommend one day ahead for every year of life.

    • Calmly tell them what will happen during the appointment.

    • Use neutral language like “vaccine” instead of "shot” and “pinch” or “pressure” instead of “poke.”

    • Encourage them to ask questions, express their feelings, or role play with their toys.
       

More Information

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Schedule a vaccination appointment

  • Questions? Talk to your healthcare provider or go to www.GetAnswersContraCosta.org

  • CDC Report: Effectiveness of Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA Vaccination Against COVID-19 Hospitalization Among Persons Aged 12–18 Years