Children and the COVID-19 vaccine
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for children ages 12–15, but parents may have questions before they line their child up for a shot. Pediatric infectious disease expert Anna-Kathryn Burch, MD, answered some common questions and explained why the vaccine is safe and effective for this age group.
How does the COVID-19 vaccine affect children? Is it safe?
Yes, the COVID-19 vaccine is safe for children ages 12 and older. There is plenty of data from vaccine trials to showcase the efficacy and safety of the vaccine in this age group.
Why should my child get the COVID-19 vaccine?
The COVID-19 vaccine will help protect your child from the virus while also helping contain the spread of the virus to others. Even though children are much less likely to get severely ill from the virus, they may spread it to others who can get severely ill. This includes others who were vaccinated but have compromised immune systems or significant health issues. The vaccine will not protect them as well as other healthy people. It is important for our herd immunity that all who are able get the vaccine.
Why is the vaccine not available for those younger than 12?
Studies and trials are still ongoing for those younger than 12 years old. It is traditional for vaccines to start with individuals who are older and work their way down in age groups.
What should I do if I’m concerned about vaccinating my child?
If you are concerned and have questions, talk to your child’s pediatrician and look to trusted resources for more information.
Dr. Burch said the vaccine plays an important role in protection against COVID-19 – for your child and for others as well. It is something everyone who is eligible should consider. It is safe and it is effective.
Have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine?
Find answers to frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, including how to get the shot.