COVID-19 Children & Youth
COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Parents
Getting yourself and your children 5 years and older vaccinated against COVID-19 helps protect you and your family. It also helps keep schools safe and open.
- COVID-19 vaccine providers near you
- School and child care guidance
- Frequently asked questions about vaccinations for kids and teens
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 5 years and older get a COVID-19 vaccination to help protect children from getting seriously sick with COVID-19 and to prevent spreading the virus to those who are not eligible for vaccination.
Considerations When Talking to your Pediatrician
- COVID-19 vaccines are free, safe and effective
- Children 5+ are eligible to get the Pfizer Vaccine
- Your child can’t get COVID-19 from the COVID-19 vaccine
- Your child may get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines at the same visit or without waiting 14 days between vaccines
About the Vaccine
- Your child will have two shots of the Pfizer vaccine, three weeks apart
- COVID-19 vaccines have been used under the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history, which includes studies in adolescents
- The COVID-19 vaccine does not alter your DNA
- Your child’s vaccine record is confidential
Preparing for Your Child’s Vaccination Visit
- Youth under 18 need parental consent to get vaccinated. Requirements vary by provider. Talk to your provider to see if you should be present at your child’s vaccination appointment or if you can fill out a form to provide parental consent.
- Tell the doctor or nurse about any allergies your child may have.
- 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.
- You should receive a paper or electronic version of a fact sheet the tells you more about the Pfizer vaccine.
- You should get a vaccination card that tells you what COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it, and where you received it. Keep your vaccination card in case you need it for future use.
- Consider taking a picture of your vaccination card as a backup copy. Do not laminate your vaccine card so it can be updated for future booster shots, if necessary.
- If you do not receive a COVID-19 vaccination card at your appointment, contact the vaccination provider site where you got vaccinated or your state health department to find out how you can get a card.
Common Side Effects
COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. Your child may have some side effects, which are normal signs that their body is building protection. These side effects may affect their ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Some people have no side effects.
Monitor your child’s symptoms
Ask your child’s healthcare provider about getting started with v-safe, a free, smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after your child receives a COVID-19 vaccination. Through v-safe, you can report any side effects your child may have after vaccination. V-safe also reminds you to get your child’s second dose. Learn more about v-safe.
On the arm where you got the shot:
Throughout the rest of your body:
- Muscle pain
Top Frequently Asked Questions
Children aged 5-11 will receive a smaller dose of the Pfizer vaccine, about one-third of that given to adults and adolescents. A second shot will be required three weeks after they receive their first dose. After they receive their shot, children will be required to wait for 15-30 minutes for observation.
Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Children ages 5-11 are now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines have been used under the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. Your child cannot get COVID-19 from any COVID-19 vaccine and the vaccine does not alter DNA.
COVID-19 vaccination protects your child from getting seriously sick from COVID-19. Although fewer children have been sick with COVID-19 compared to adults, children can be infected with COVID-19 and get sick, spreading the virus to others. Getting your child vaccinated helps to protect your child and your family. Vaccination is now recommended for everyone 5 years and older.
You can get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines at the same visit. You no longer need to wait 14 days between vaccinations. Experience with other vaccines has shown that the way our bodies develop protection, known as an immune response, after getting vaccinated and possible side effects of vaccines are generally the same when given alone or with other vaccines. Learn more about the timing of other vaccines.
People with underlying medical conditions can receive a COVID-19 vaccine as long as they have not had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. Learn more about vaccination considerations for people with underlying medical conditions. Vaccination is an important consideration for adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions because they are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
You and your child should be vaccinated regardless of whether you’ve already had COVID-19. Experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again.
Studies have shown that vaccination provides a strong boost in protection in people who have recovered from COVID-19. Learn more about why getting vaccinated is a safer way to build protection than getting infected.
Compared to vaccinated people, unvaccinated children are at a higher risk of becoming infected with COVID-19, getting sick from COVID-19, and spreading the virus to others. Most children with COVID-19 have mild symptoms or have no symptoms at all. However, some children can get severely ill from COVID-19.
The multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a rare but serious condition that has been observed in kids with COVID-19. With MIS-C, different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs. The CDC does not yet know what causes MIS-C. However, CDC knows that many children with MIS-C had COVID-19 or had been around someone with COVID-19. MIS-C can be serious, even deadly, but most children who were diagnosed with this condition have gotten better with medical care.
Having certain underlying conditions might increase the risk for severe illness in children. As more information becomes available, CDC will continue to update and share information about the risk for severe illness among children.
Regardless of age, kids with the following underlying medical conditions might also be at increased risk of severe illness compared to other children:
- Asthma or chronic lung disease
- Genetic, neurologic or metabolic conditions
- Sickle cell disease
- Heart disease since birth
- Immunosuppression (weakened immune system due to certain medical conditions or being on medications that weaken the immune system)
- Medical complexity (children with multiple chronic conditions that affect many parts of the body, or are dependent on technology and other significant supports for daily life)
Cases of myocarditis are very rare. They have been reported after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), particularly in male adolescents and young adults age 16 years or older.
It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. You should keep wearing a mask, social distancing and washing your hands until you are fully vaccinated.
Children 12 years and older are able to get the Pfizer vaccine from different types of providers: traditional longstanding vaccination clinics hosted by healthcare providers such as Boulder Community Health, SCL, Kaiser, etc. Also, many pharmacies, supermarkets and some short-term clinics are offering this vaccine in Boulder County.
If you are pregnant, you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
You might want to have a conversation with your healthcare provider to help you decide whether to get vaccinated. While such a conversation might be helpful, it is not required before vaccination. Learn more about vaccination considerations for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you are pregnant and have received a COVID-19 vaccine, we encourage you to enroll in v-safe, CDC’s smartphone-based tool that provides personalized health check-ins after vaccination. A v-safe pregnancy registry has been established to gather information on the health of pregnant people who have received a COVID-19 vaccine.
- Charge you for the vaccine.
- Charge you any administration fees, copays, coinsurance or the balance of the bill after appropriate reimbursement.
- Deny vaccination to anyone who does not have health insurance coverage, is underinsured or is out of network.
- Charge an office visit or other fee to the recipient if the only service provided is a COVID-19 vaccination.
- Require additional services in order for a person to receive a COVID-19 vaccine; however, additional healthcare services can be provided at the same time and billed as appropriate.
If you are concerned that you have been charged incorrectly for a COVID-19 vaccine, please visit CDPHE’s Health Facilities Complaints page to file a complaint.