COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids Under 5 Years of Age
Parents and caregivers can now get their children 6 months and older vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines to better protect them from COVID-19. All children, including children who have already had COVID-19, should get vaccinated.
Why should I get my child vaccinated?
It is recommended that everyone aged 6 months and older get a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccinating children can help protect family members who are at higher risk for getting sick. Vaccination can help keep kids in school and safely participating in group activities. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have been authorized for children aged 6 months and older. COVID-19 vaccine dosage varies by the age of the child on the day their vaccine dose.
What Covid-19 vaccine can my child receive?
Pfizer-BioNTech (for children 6 months – 4 years)
- 3-shot series: 2 doses, 3 weeks apart, followed by a 3rd dose at least 2 months later
- Infants and toddlers aged 6 months – 4 years receive a lower dose than children aged 5 – 11.
Moderna (for children 6 months – 5 years)
- 2-shot series: 2 doses, 4 weeks apart
- Infants and toddlers aged 6 months – 5 years receive a lower dose than children aged 6 – 11.
When are the vaccines available and where can I find them?
Distribution of pediatric vaccinations for these younger children has started across the country, and will be available locally at pediatric practices, pharmacies, and Federally Qualified Health Centers.
Children in this younger age group can be vaccinated with whichever vaccine is available (either Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech). Parents should check in with their children’s pediatrician about vaccine availability. Parents can also visit vaccines.gov and myturn.ca.gov to see where vaccines for children are available.
Are vaccines safe for my child?
COVID-19 vaccines have undergone—and will continue to undergo—the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. Parents and caregivers can play an active role in monitoring the safety of these vaccines by signing their children up for v-safe – personalized and confidential health check-ins via text messages and web surveys where they can easily share with CDC how a child feels after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
The COVID-19 vaccine has been proven safe and effective for children based on data from clinical trials. All COVID-19 vaccines continue to be rigorously monitored.
- People, including children, have rarely experienced severe health effects after COVID-19 vaccination.
- Children may experience side effects like pain and swelling where the shot was given, or headache, fatigue, and fever. These symptoms should go away in a few days.
Read the statement from Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup
Read the statement from the CDC’s Advisory on Immunization Practices
How do I prepare my child for vaccination?
The experience of getting a COVID-19 vaccine will be very similar to the experience of getting routine vaccines.
- Talk to your child before vaccination about what to expect.
- It is not recommendedyou give pain relievers before vaccination to try to prevent side effects.
- Tell the doctor or nurse about any allergies your child may have.
- 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 15–30 minutes so your child can be observed in case they have a severe allergic reaction and need immediate treatment.