COVID-19 Parent Resources
A multi-ethnic group of four tween girls, 12 and 13 years old, standing together on a sidewalk outside a building. They are wearing protective face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic, trying to prevent the spread of coronavirus. They are looking at the camera, smiling behind their masks.

COVID-19 Parent Resources

COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Parents

Getting yourself and your children 12 years and older vaccinated against COVID-19 helps protect you and your family. It also helps keep schools safe and open.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 12 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

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:

WhatExpectafterVaccinationAnimation_pain
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling

Throughout the rest of your body:

WhatExpectafterVaccinationAnimation_fever
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea

Top Frequently Asked Questions

Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Like adults, children may have some side effects after COVID-19 vaccination. These side effects may affect their ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Children 12 years and older 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, including studies in children 12 years and older. Your child cannot get COVID-19 from any COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccination can help protect 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 12 years and older.

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 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
  • Diabetes
  • 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)
  • Obesity

We know that for children, the health complications of getting COVID-19 include mild symptoms of cough, fever, achiness, sore throat, nasal congestion, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, headache, among others. Or they may not have any symptoms. Increasingly, we are seeing Multi-inflammatory syndrome in children resulting in hospitalization and death. Children who suffer from COVID-19 have lasting fatigue, shortness of breath and neurologic problems. These health complications are much more dangerous than the side effects associated with the vaccine. Most children have common symptoms after a COVID-19 vaccine as with other vaccines (soreness on the arm, fever, etc.) which go away in a few days. 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.

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.

If you or your child has a history of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults or children (MIS-A or MIS-C), consider delaying vaccination until you or your child have recovered from being sick and for 90 days after the date of diagnosis of MIS-A or MIS-C.

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.

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.

Find providers and special clinics near you on BCPH’s Vaccine Providers page. This list will tell you which providers offer the Pfizer vaccine, how to sign up for an appointment, if necessary, or which providers are accepting walk-ins.

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.

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.

According to the Pfizer website, they hope to submit the vaccine for potential Emergency Use Authorization to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sometime in the September-October timeframe for children 5 to 11, and soon after for children 6 months to 5 years old. Please continue to check the Pfizer website for the latest information.

Moderna is currently conducting a clinical trial for children 12 and under, but has not yet announced a timeline for approval.

Private businesses and organizations may require masks within their indoor or outdoor space. Even if not required, BCPH, CDPHE and CDC may require or strongly recommend masks for certain individuals as follows:

BCPH Recommendations:

  • BCPH strongly recommends all children ages 2 to 11 wear a mask when indoors, and all individuals age 12 and over who are not yet fully vaccinated wear a mask when indoors. View BCPH’s masking recommendations.

CDPHE’s Public Health Order and Recommendations:

  • Children 11 years old and younger are not required by the CDPHE’s Fourth Amended Public Health Order 20-38 to wear a mask, even in schools. However, local public health agencies may issue orders requiring masks within their jurisdiction, and schools and districts may choose to implement their own mask policies and requirements. In addition, individual businesses and organizations may require masks.
  • CDPHE encourages people who are not fully vaccinated to wear masks in all other public indoor spaces to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

CDC Order and Guidance:

  • CDC requires that all individuals age 2+ wear a mask while on public transportation, including school buses operated by public and private school systems, taxis, trains and airplanes. See the CDC Order.
  • CDC guidance emphasizes implementing layered COVID-19 prevention strategies (e.g., using multiple prevention strategies together) to protect children who are not fully vaccinated.
  • CDC recommends masks be worn indoors by all individuals (ages 2 and older) who are not fully vaccinated. CDC website.
The COVID-19 vaccine is FREE. COVID-19 vaccination providers cannot:
  • 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.

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