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.
- 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.