Should I get a COVID vaccine for my 5-11-year-old?

Yes.  You should get the COVID vaccine for your school age children. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been authorized for emergency use by the FDA and is now recommended by the CDC for all children ages 5 years old and up.  

Are children at risk of COVID infection?

Yes. Children are at risk for severe COVID infection and death. As of October 2021, COVID-19 has caused over 1.9 million infections, 8,300 hospitalizations, and 94 deaths in children aged 5 to 11. It has also caused major disruptions to school, childcare, sports participation, and social interactions for school-aged kids. 

Is the COVID vaccine effective in children?

Yes, the COVID vaccine is effective at preventing COVID for children aged 5-11 years. The clinical trial for 5-11-year-olds started in March 2021 and included about 4,500 children. The vaccine was 90.7% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infection, including the Delta variant.

Is the COVID vaccine safe for children?

The COVID vaccine is safe for children. None of the children in the clinical trials experienced any serious side effects, including severe allergic reactions or heart inflammation (myocarditis). Some side effects, similar to other vaccines, including pain at the injection site, fatigue, and headache did occur but were less common and less severe than in adults. 

Over 11.3 million children aged 12 to 18 have already been fully vaccinated in the United States to date. The surveillance systems in place continue to show that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh any risks for these children. 

The dose for children aged 5-11 years is one-third the dose given to older children and adults, and it is given on the same schedule, two doses 21 days apart. The vaccine is available at pharmacies, pediatricians’ offices, and vaccine administration sites in every state. To find out where you can get a vaccine for your child, contact your pediatrician or family physician, or go to vaccine.gov.

Last update: November 8, 2021, 2:18pm ET

Science review: SGB, BSL, GSN