The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized a COVID-19 vaccine for children 5-11 years of age. The dose for children 5-11 is one third of the adult dose. Similar to adults, children need two doses, at least three weeks apart.
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.
Why should 5-11 year olds get vaccinated?
A COVID-19 vaccination can:
- Help protect your child from getting infected with COVID-19 virus
- Keep your child from getting seriously sick even if they do get COVID-19
- Keep your child in school and reduce child care challenges. Fully vaccinated children do not need to quarantine if exposed to someone with COVID-19 unless they have symptoms
- Lower the chance of spreading COVID-19 to others
Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe for children?
The Pfizer vaccine has been given to millions of adults and children aged 12 and above.
- In trials among about 3,000 children, the COVID-19 vaccine was found to be safe and effective in preventing COVID-19 infections in 5-11 year olds.
- There have been no serious side effects from the vaccine in this age group. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and FDA continue to closely monitor the vaccine and follow up on any reported side effects.
- A smaller dose of 10 micrograms was effective in children 5-11 (it is 30 micrograms for the adult dose).
- The vaccine for children was reviewed and authorized by the FDA, the CDC, and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup.
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. None of the 3,000 children in the trials aged 5-11 suffered myocarditis after the vaccine. Myocarditis is expected to be less common in younger children after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine because of the lower vaccine dose.
What are the side effects?
- Side effects after any vaccine are normal signs that the body is building protection.
- With the smaller 10-microgram dose, there were fewer side effects after the second dose—less fever, less chills—than among older children.
- Common side effects for children 5-11 can include a sore, red or swollen arm, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, or nausea. Most side effects will go away after a few days.
- It is rare, but some people have had a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine. All of these people received medical help right away.
The COVID-19 vaccine:
- Does not contain coronavirus and can’t give your child COVID-19.
- Does not change your child’s DNA or genetic material, and does not get stored in the DNA.
- Does not cause infertility.
- The development of the vaccine was based on several years of research.
Where can children get vaccinated?
- Pediatric COVID-19 vaccines are available at locations like pharmacies, doctor’s offices, schools, and other community vaccine clinics.
- You can also check:
Oregon Health Authority: Resources for Parents, Guardians and People Under 18
Download a flyer: