How Old Do You Need to Be to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine?

For essentially the most up-to-date information and details about the coronavirus pandemic, go to the WHO and CDC web sites.

What’s taking place

An FDA advisory panel voted to advocate Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for youngsters below 5 for the primary time.

Why it issues

To date, preschoolers and infants have not been in a position to get vaccinated towards COVID-19.

What’s subsequent

If the FDA commissioner and the CDC approve emergency use authorizations, youngsters may get their first shot the week of June 20.

Parents keen to vaccinate their youthful youngsters towards COVID-19 might quickly breathe a sigh of aid. On June 15, an skilled panel on the US Food and Drug Administration voted to advocate COVID-19 vaccines from each Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech for infants as young as 6 months.

Should the FDA commissioner and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention help the suggestions, youngsters may get their first dose as early as subsequent Tuesday, in accordance to the White House. It would mark the primary time there have been COVID-19 vaccines accessible within the US for preschoolers and infants.  

Moderna’s two-shot vaccine was submitted for approval for youngsters 6 months by way of 5 years previous. Each dose is 25 micrograms, one-fourth of every dose for adults.

Pfizer’s vaccine is barely completely different: It’s a three-shot routine supposed for teenagers 6 months by way of 4 years previous. Each dose is 3 micrograms, one-tenth of every dose for adults. 

Here’s what to find out about COVID-19 vaccines and boosters for infants, youngsters and teenagers.

How previous do you’ve got to be to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Right now solely youngsters 5 and older are eligible for vaccination within the US — and just for a decrease dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. Individuals 12 and older obtain two 30-microgram doses, whereas these 5-11 obtain two 10-microgram pictures administered three weeks aside.

If the FDA and CDC help latest committee suggestions, although, mother and father of youngsters as younger as 6 months can have two choices:

  • A Moderna vaccine that will be accessible for youngsters between the ages of 6 months and 6 years previous. The 25mg vaccine is given in two doses, every a quarter-strength of the corporate’s vaccine for adults. 
  • A  Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for teenagers 6 months previous up to age 5. The 3mg vaccine is given in three pictures, every one-tenth the energy of Pfizer’s vaccine for individuals age 12 and up. 

The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee additionally really useful Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for kids 12 to 17. It additionally supported Moderna’s vaccine for youngsters 6-11, given as a two-dose routine at half the grownup energy. 

If approved, Moderna’s can be the second COVID-19 vaccine choice for teenagers and teenagers. Currently, Pfizer-BioNTech is the one one which’s approved for anybody below 18. 

child getting a vaccine shot

Only Pfizer’s vaccine is accepted for youngsters.

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When can my child get a booster? 

Most youngsters ages 5 and older are presently eligible for a single booster dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine at the least 5 months after their second major dose. Immunocompromised youngsters are eligible for his or her first booster at the least three months after their final vaccine. 

In March, the FDA authorized a second booster for youngsters 12 and older with compromised immune methods.

Children’s booster pictures can be found solely at areas the place the low-dose Pfizer vaccine for teenagers is in inventory. Call your pediatrician or native well being clinic for a suggestion. You can text your ZIP code to 438829 or use this vaccine finder link to discover a location close to you. 

“Vaccination with a major sequence amongst this age group has lagged behind different age teams leaving them susceptible to critical sickness,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky stated in a statement in May. “We should proceed to improve the variety of youngsters who’re protected.”

Is the COVID vaccine protected for teenagers?

COVID vaccine unintended effects in youngsters 5 to 11 are largely delicate and related to these adults might expertise, according to the CDC, together with soreness on the injection website, fever, muscle soreness, nausea and fatigue. 

The CDC reported in December 2021 that it had reviewed reports on greater than 8 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine given to youngsters 5 to 11, and located the kids’s immune methods responded nicely to the vaccine with solely widespread, delicate unintended effects.

On June 15, a 21-person panel on the FDA voted unanimously that the advantages of Moderna’s vaccines “outweigh its dangers to be used in infants and kids 6 months by way of 5 years of age.”

Almost instantly after, the committee made the identical suggestion about Pfizer’s vaccine for teenagers 6 months by way of 4 years previous.


Side results in youngsters to COVID-19 vaccines are related to these in adults, together with nausea and fatigue.

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Inflammation of the center muscle, generally known as myocarditis, and of the muscle’s outer lining, known as pericarditis, are rare and typically mild side effects linked to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, largely in adolescent males and younger males ages 12 to 29. (Myocarditis may also happen after an infection with COVID-19.)

In one examine, the CDC said that solely 54 recipients out of a million males ages 12 to 17 skilled myocarditis following their second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Comirnaty vaccine. 

Do youngsters even want a COVID vaccine or booster? 

Children are extra probably to expertise a milder sickness than adults, however some have change into extraordinarily sick: The omicron wave of COVID-19 was specifically impactful on youngsters and led to a rise in juvenile hospitalizations. Between December 2021 and February 2021, nearly 90% of children 5 to 11, who have been hospitalized have been unvaccinated, in accordance to the CDC. 

Thirty % of these youngsters had no underlying medical circumstances that will have made them extra prone to extra critical issues. 

In addition, youngsters 5 to 11 who’ve COVID-19 have a greater threat of multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C, a uncommon however doubtlessly critical complication that may contain irritation of the center, lungs, kidneys, mind, pores and skin, eyes and different organs. 

Even a delicate case of COVID-19 can disrupt a kid’s capacity to socialize or attend college, and children can go the an infection to extra susceptible household or group members. As of February 2022, about 75% of youngsters and adolescents have had COVID-19, in accordance to the CDC

As of May 28, 442 US children below the age of 4 have died from COVID-19, in accordance to Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

Do I want to give consent for my youngster to get vaccinated? 

Parents typically want to consent to youngsters receiving medical care, together with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. This is particularly true for youthful youngsters. 

However, depending on which state you live in, there could also be a authorized precedent for teenagers and different youngsters to request the vaccine with out parental permission. 

Tennessee’s vaccine director, Michelle Fiscus, was fired in August, allegedly partially for sending out a memo detailing the state’s “mature minor doctrine,” which explains how minors might search medical care with out the consent of their mother and father. 

My youngster has allergy symptoms. Can they get the vaccine?

Yes, although you is likely to be requested to stick across the ready room so well being care suppliers can monitor them for (extremely rare) allergic reactions that may happen after any vaccination. 

“If the kid has a historical past of anaphylaxis or different extreme allergy symptoms, then the statement time after the injection could also be half-hour as a substitute of 15,” stated Dr. Anne Liu, an infectious illness specialist with Stanford Hospital and Clinics and the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. 

Children who’ve been prescribed an EpiPen for any motive ought to convey it to their vaccine appointment, Liu added. 

As with adults, youngsters with an allergy to an ingredient in Pfizer’s COVID-19 should not take it. You can discover a record of substances in Pfizer’s vaccine for teenagers 5 to 11 on the FDA’s fact sheet

Can my youngster get their COVID-19 shot concurrently different vaccines?

According to the CDC, your youngster might get different vaccines after they go in for his or her COVID shot with out ready 14 days between appointments. Flu shots may be given to youngsters 6 months and older.

The info contained on this article is for academic and informational functions solely and isn’t supposed as well being or medical recommendation. Always seek the advice of a doctor or different certified well being supplier relating to any questions you will have about a medical situation or well being aims.

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