Yes. The vaccines are safe for children ages 6 months and older. Clinical trials were conducted with thousands of children and no serious safety concerns were identified.
Before recommending COVID-19 vaccination for children, scientists conducted clinical trials. The FDA has given emergency use authorization to both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to use in children 6 months and older. The CDC's Advisory Committee and Immunization Practices and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup recommend both vaccines for children 6 months and older. Learn more about the process of developing, authorizing, and approving COVID-19 vaccines.
Based on clinical trial data, children may have some side effects from COVID-19 vaccination, which are similar to what adults have experienced and the side effects that many children experience after routine vaccinations. These side effects are normal signs that their body is building protection and may affect your child’s ability to do daily activities, and should go away within a few days. Some children will not have side effects. Serious side effects are rare but may occur.
The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks.
Update: A Pfizer and Moderna vaccine was recently (June 19, 2022) approved for children age 6 months to 4 years of age. Local vaccine providers started vaccinations for this age group on Thursday, June 23, 2022. NOTE: Vaccine supply will determine available clinics and appointments: the vaccine for young children is a different formulation than the 12 & older vaccine, and vaccine manufacturers are working as quickly as possible to ship the new formulation to providers across the United States
On May 20, 2022, Marin County Public Health aligned with California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to authorize a booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children 5-to-11-years old. This directive is based on a recommendation by the FDA, CDC, and Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup (WSSSRW).
Vaccination against COVID-19 helps protect your child from getting COVID-19.
COVID-19 infection in children may occur less often than infection in adults. The COVID-19 vaccine helps keep your child from getting very sick even if he or she gets COVID-19. Research shows that vaccines can help prevent people, including kids, from spreading COVID-19 to others. Getting your child vaccinated helps protect your child and your family.
No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines licensed in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19.
This means that COVID-19 vaccines cannot make you sick with COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune system to recognize and fight SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can produce side effects, such as fever. These side effects are normal and are signs that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.
No. COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way. Different types of vaccines work in different ways to offer protection. But with all types of vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, an immune response is triggered inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.
The spike protein (Johnson & Johnson) and the mRNA (Moderna & Pfizer) delivered by COVID-19 vaccines do not last long within the body and never enter the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept.
Visit the CDC's webpages Understanding How COVID-19 Vaccines Work for more information.
The term "Pediatric" refers to children ages 6 month to 11 years old.
A Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was recently approved for children age 6 months to 4 years of age. Please review our COVID-19 Vaccine for Pediatrics page for the latest information and tips so you can plan for your child's COVID-19 vaccination experience.
No. Children receive a smaller dosage. The Pfizer vaccine dose is 1/10 of the adult dose. The Moderna vaccine dose is 1/4 of the adult dose. COVID-19 vaccine given to younger recipients is effective in preventing COVID-19.