16 May U.S. Approves COVID-19 Vaccine for Children
Although fewer children have been infected with COVID-19 compared to adults, young people can get infected with the virus, become seriously ill and spread the virus to others. Effective May 12, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination for everyone over age 12 to help end the pandemic.
To find a COVID-19 vaccine for your child:
- check your local pharmacy’s website to see if vaccination walk-ins or appointments are available;
- check with your child’s healthcare provider about whether they offer the vaccination; and
- contact your state or local health department for more information.
The CDC offers the following information about COVID-19 vaccines for children and teens:
Get a COVID-19 vaccine for your child as soon as you can:
- Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
- The COVID-19 vaccines have been used under the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history, including studies in adolescents.
- Your child will need a second shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine three weeks after their first shot.
- Your child cannot become infected with the virus from any COVID-19 vaccine, including the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Prepare for your child’s vaccination visit:
- Get tips for how to support your child before, during and after the visit.
- Talk to your child before the visit about what to expect.
- Tell the doctor or nurse if your child has any allergies to any ingredient in the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
- Comfort your child during the appointment.
- To prevent fainting and injuries related to fainting, your child should be seated or lying down during vaccination and for 15 minutes after the vaccine is given.
- After your child’s COVID-19 vaccination, you will be asked to stay for 15 to 30 minutes so your child can be observed in case they have a severe allergic reaction and need immediate treatment.
Know about possible side effects:
- Your child may have some side effects, which are normal signs that their body is building protection.
- On the arm where they receive the shot: pain, redness or swelling
- Throughout the rest of their body: tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever or nausea
- These side effects may affect your child’s ability to do daily activities, but they should subside in a few days.
- You may wish to ask your child’s healthcare provider for advice on using a non-aspirin pain reliever and other steps you can take at home to comfort your child. It is not recommended you give pain relievers before vaccination for the purpose of trying to prevent side effects. Some people have no side effects.
It is also important to know that COVID-19 vaccination providers cannot charge for your child’s vaccine. They may not:
- Charge any administration fees, copays, coinsurance or the balance of the bill after appropriate reimbursement.
- Deny vaccination to anyone who does not have health insurance coverage, is underinsured or is out of network.
- Charge an office visit or other fee to the recipient if the only service provided is a COVID-19 vaccination.
- Require additional services in order for a person to receive a COVID-19 vaccine; however, additional healthcare services can be provided at the same time and billed as appropriate.
After your family is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you may be able to resume activities that you enjoyed prior to the pandemic. To learn more about how to continue protecting yourself and others, please visit the CDC website.