Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is available for younger children, parents are likely to have plenty of questions. Here are some of the facts to help you make a decision about vaccinating your child.
What children are eligible?
Children age 6 months and older can receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine under emergency use authorization. The dose is dependent on the age of your child, not their size or weight. This is similar to other routine vaccines.
What does the vaccination process look like?
Your child will need multiple doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to be considered fully vaccinated. For comprehensive information about the vaccination process, please visit the CDC’s website.
Reported side effects are like those experienced after routine vaccines and are mild and temporary. Like adults, children 5 years and older may experience some mild side effects such as a slight fever, chills, muscle or joint aches, a headache or tiredness. For children under the age of 4, side effects may also include swollen lymph nodes, irritability or crying, sleepiness or loss of appetite. Your child might have swelling, redness or pain where the shot was given.
If your child is due for other vaccines, these can be administered at the same visit as when they receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
What children should get vaccinated?
Parents should consider the vaccine’s risks and benefits for their child.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Children and adults who are fully vaccinated have a lower risk of getting COVID-19, and they’re much, much less likely to be hospitalized due to COVID-19.
- Although children are less likely than adults to need hospitalization for COVID-19, some children have needed serious medical care, including admission to an intensive care unit.
- Vaccination helps protect the people around children, especially loved ones such as grandparents who may have a higher risk of serious illness or death.
- Like adults with chronic conditions, children with chronic conditions are more likely to become severely ill from COVID-19.
- Having and recovering from COVID-19 illness does offer some protection, but experts are not yet sure how long that protection lasts. Vaccination is considered a much safer way to gain protection against severe illness.
If you have questions specific to your child, it’s best to discuss them with your child’s health care provider.
Learn more about our ministry’s COVID-19 vaccine efforts.