The COVID-19 vaccine is available to children ages 6 months and older. Children ages 6 to 17 are only eligible for the Pfizer vaccine. Anyone 5 and older who received the Pfizer vaccine at least five months ago is also eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.
Latest on Vaccines for Children 6 Months to 5 Years Old:
- Two vaccines were approved for children 6 months to 5 years old, and both are safe and effective:
- Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for this age group is given in three doses. The first two shots are scheduled 3 weeks apart, with the third dose at least two months later. Each is one-tenth the amount of an adult dose.
- Moderna’s vaccine is also available for this age group. It is given in two doses spaced about 4 weeks apart.
Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for ages 6 months to 5 years old now available
Many offices are offering the vaccine to current patients who may schedule their vaccine during regular office hours. To learn more, find a list of locations.
Latest on Booster Shots for COVID-19 Vaccine:
- Anyone 5 and older who received their last COVID-19 shot two months ago is eligible for the updated (bivalent) booster shot. The Pfizer booster shot is available to anyone 5 and older. The Moderna booster shot is available to anyone 6 and older.
What You Need to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines:
- COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. All three approved vaccines for adults, including the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, were effective in helping prevent severe cases of COVID-19. In the expanded clinical trials Pfizer and Moderna conducted for children 6 months and older, the vaccines provided similar protection.
- The side effects were similar as reported by adults. For adults, common side effects after COVID-19 vaccine include swelling or redness at the injection site, fever, headache, tiredness, muscle pain, chills and nausea. Some people have no side effects. Learn more about what to expect after your COVID-19 vaccine.
- 12- to 15-year olds will receive the same two-dose vaccine as adults. You need to be available to return to the same location 19-23 days after your first appointment.
- Younger children will receive smaller doses compared to the vaccines for adults. 5- to 11-year olds who receive the Pfizer vaccine will receive one-third of the dose as the adult vaccine. Pfizer's vaccine for children ages 6 months to 5 years old is one-tenth the size and is given in three doses. Moderna's vaccine for children ages 6 months through 5 years old is one-fourth the size and is given in two doses. The lower doses are proven to produce a strong immune response in children while minimizing the side effects.
- Getting a COVID-19 vaccine helps protect you and those around you. COVID-19 has not been as serious to children as it has been to adults. However, children are still able to get the virus and also transmit the virus to others. Getting a vaccine helps protect those around you, including older people or those with chronic medical conditions who may be more likely to get a serious case of COVID-19 if they were to catch it.
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For more information about COVID-19 vaccines or answers to your questions, visit iuhealth.org/vaccine.