Updated August 16, 2022

Two vaccines have been authorized by the FDA for children as young as 6 months old. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is for children 6 months old to under 5 years. The Moderna vaccine is for children 6 months old to under 6 years. 

Many children will be able to get vaccinated at their pediatrician's office. Some community locations and some pharmacies will also vaccinate younger children.


Authorized vaccines for ages 6 months and older

Children and adolescents aged 6 months and older are eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Children can get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. 

Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine 

  • Children age 6 months through 4 years old receive a three-shot series, with two doses spaced three weeks apart and followed by a third at least two months later. The dosage is one-tenth the adult dosage.
  • Children age 5 to 11 receive a two-shot series spaced three weeks apart. The dosage is one-third the adult dosage. This age group should get a booster dose at least five months after their second shot.
  • Children age 12 to 17 receive a two-shot series spaced three weeks apart. The dosage is the same as the adult dosage. This age group should get a booster dose at least five months after their second shot.

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine 

  • Children age 6 months through 5 years old receive a two-shot series, with two doses spaced four weeks apart. The dosage is one quarter the adult dosage.
  • Children age 6 to 17 receive a two-shot series, with two doses spaced four weeks apart. The dosage is the same as the dosage for adults.

Boosters

Everyone age 5 and older who received a Pfizer vaccine can get a booster dose once it has been:

  • At least 5 months after receiving the second dose
  • At least 3 months after receiving the third dose if you are immunocompromised

There is not a recommendation to receive a booster for children who got a Moderna vaccine or for children under 5. There may be a recommendation for boosters for these groups in the future.

Why should children get vaccinated?

  A COVID-19 vaccination can: 

  • Keep your child from getting seriously sick even if they do get COVID-19
  • Help keep your child in school and other activities and reduce child care challenges. 
  • Lower the chance of spreading COVID-19 to others

Parents may have questions and mixed feelings

Making the decision to vaccinate your child can be stressful. It can be helpful to take some time, make a list of questions, and talk to a trusted healthcare provider. Pediatricians, pharmacists, and school nurses can help answer your questions. 

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe for children? 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Western States Safety Review Workgroup all reviewed the safety information of the vaccine for children. 

Millions of children and adolescents ages 5-17 have already received the COVID-19 vaccine.  The known risks and possible severe complications of COVID-19 outweigh the potential risks of having a rare, adverse reaction to vaccination. 

Clinical trials have shown COVID vaccines to be safe for children over 6 months old. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and FDA continue to closely monitor the vaccine and follow up on any reported side effects.
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COVID-19 Vaccine Safety in Children and Teens (CDC)

Side effects

Side effects after any vaccine are normal signs that the body is building protection. Common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine can include:

  • a sore, red or swollen arm
  • tiredness
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • chills
  • fever, or 
  • nausea 

Call your provider if your child has chest pain, ongoing fatigue, or trouble breathing.

There were fewer side effects among children ages 5-11 than in the older groups.

Most side effects will go away after a few days. If they do not go away, call your doctor. If you don’t have a doctor, call 211.

Tips on how to relieve vaccine side effects from the CDC

Myocarditis and other rare, but serious, complications

The risk of a serious adverse reaction after the COVID-19 vaccine is very low.

Myocarditis (heart inflammation) is a rare, but serious, condition that has developed in some teens and young adults (1 in 50,000) after a COVID-19 vaccine. 

  • Myocarditis is expected to be less common in younger children after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine because of the lower vaccine dose.
  • The risk of developing myocarditis after a COVID-19 infection is much higher than the risk of developing myocarditis after the vaccine. 

It is rare, but some people have had a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine. All of these people received medical help right away. Just like adults, children and adolescents are asked to remain 15-30 minutes after the shot is given, to monitor for allergic reactions.

Where can children get vaccinated?

COVID-19 vaccines for children and adolescents are available at locations like pharmacies, doctor’s offices, Multnomah County Student Health Centers, and other community vaccine clinics

You can also check: 

COVID-19 vaccines will be provided at no cost to you. You do not need health insurance. If you have health insurance, vaccine providers may charge your insurance company a fee for giving you or your child the vaccine. 

Parent or guardian consent

  • Children 14 year-old and younger must be accompanied throughout the vaccine process by either a parent, a guardian or someone designated by the parent/guardian.
    • If someone other than a parent or guardian accompanies the 5-14 year old, they will need to provide proof of parental/guardian consent. Download consent forms.
  • 15-17 year-olds do not need to be accompanied, and do not require parental consent in the state of Oregon. We encourage adolescents to involve a parent or other trusted adult in their health care; however, in Oregon at age 15+, youth can make their own decisions to get a vaccine.

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Adolescents and the COVID-19 Vaccine (252.33 KB)

Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine for Children 5-11 (256.59 KB)

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