Why Children and Teens Should Get Vaccinated for COVID-19

Getting vaccinated can help keep children and teens in school and help them safely participate in sports, playdates, and other activities. Vaccination can also help keep children from getting seriously sick if they do get COVID-19. Help protect family members, including siblings who are not eligible for vaccination and family members who are at an increased risk of getting very sick if they get COVID-19 but getting vaccinated!

About the Pediatric Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine

  • Adolescents ages 12 years and older receive the same dosage of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine as adults.
  • Children ages 5 to 11 receive the Pfizer vaccine. It has the same ingredients as the Pfizer vaccine given to adults and adolescents (ages 12 years and older).
  • The pediatric dose is 1/3 of the adult dose (10 mcg vs 30 mcg).
  • Unlike many medications, COVID-19 vaccine dosage does not vary by patient weight but by age on the day of vaccination.
  • Your child will need to receive a second shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine 3 weeks (21 days) after the first shot! 

COVID-19 Vaccine Safety for Children

  • Several studies were conducted on 5,000 children ages 5 to 11 year old’s
  • The vaccine was determined to be safe and effective
  • COVID-19 vaccines have been used under the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history
  • Your child can not get COVID-19 from any COVID-19 vaccine, including the Pfizer vaccine
  • There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines cause fertility problems

Side Effects

Your child may have some side effects, which are normal signs that their body is building protection. Side effects experienced by 5 to 11 year old’s were similar to or less than those experienced by adults.

These side effects may affect your child’s ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Some people have no side effects. This does NOT mean the vaccine is defective. Ask your child’s healthcare provider for advice on using a non-aspirin pain reliever and other steps you can take at home after your child gets vaccinated. In general, aspirin is not recommended for use in children and adolescents less than 18 years of age. Placing a cool, damp cloth on the injection site can help with discomfort.

Preparing Children and Teens for Vaccination

The experience of getting a COVID-19 vaccine will be very similar to the experience of getting routine vaccines. Check out these tips to support your child before, during, and after routine vaccinations from the CDC to help your child when they get a COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Talk to your child before vaccination about what to expect
  • It is not recommended you give pain relievers before vaccination to try to prevent side effects.
  • Tell the vaccinator about any allergies your child may have.
  • To prevent fainting and injuries related to fainting, your child should be seated or lying down during vaccination and for 15 minutes after the vaccine is given.
  • 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.
  • A parent or guardian MUST be present for the child to receive their vaccine!

Where Can Children Get Vaccinated?

Some primary care providers are offering COVID-19 vaccines! Contact yours to see if they are offering it. Other locations include:

CCHHS COVID-19 Vaccine Events

Carson City Health and Human Services will be offering the pediatric dose at their Walk-In COVID-19 Vaccine events throughout the Quad-County Region (Carson City, Douglas County, Lyon County, Storey County).

Find an event

Pharmacies

Pharmacies throughout the Region are offering COVID-19 vaccines. Supply may be limited and the age requirements vary.

Find a pharmacy

Additional Resources