A kid getting vaccinated for COVID-19.

What to Know About COVID-19 Vaccination and Kids

Nov 23 2021

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 five to 17 years old can receive the Pfizer vaccine under emergency use authorization. Children age 12 to 17 receive the adult dose, while kids age five to 11 receive one-third the dose. The smaller dose is effective because children have stronger immune systems than adults.

Is the vaccination process the same for children as adults?

Yes, children will need receive two doses 21 days apart to be fully vaccinated. Like adults, they may experience some side effects such as a mild fever, chills, muscle or joint aches, a headache or tiredness. They might have swelling, redness or pain where the shot was given. All these symptoms generally go away within a day or two.

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.

Does Mercy Health offer the COVID-19 vaccine to children?

Select Mercy Health providers are offering COVID-19 vaccination for their pediatric patients. If you child has a Mercy Health primary care provider in Cincinnati, Springfield, Toledo or Youngstown, please call 866-624-0366 to schedule an appointment.

In other locations, please schedule your child’s COVID-19 vaccination through your local health department or retail pharmacy.

Learn more about our COVID-19 Vaccine efforts.

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