The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that all children 6 months of age and older get COVID-19 vaccines. The COVID-19 vaccine is part of the regular schedule of recommended immunizations for infants and young children.
Why should children get COVID-19 vaccines?
COVID-19 vaccines lower the chance of getting very sick from the virus. Vaccinated children are less likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19 than those who are not vaccinated. When more people are vaccinated, including children, there is less of a chance that other people will get sick.
What vaccines can young children get?
As of September 2023, updated 2023-24 versions of COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older. Children under 5 years of age need more than one dose to be well-protected, including at least one of the updated versions. People 5 years of age and older need just one dose of the updated vaccine to be up to date. Talk with your child’s health care provider about COVID-19 vaccines for your child.
Are COVID-19 vaccines safe?
Yes, the COVID-19 vaccines were studied and shown to be safe for young children. Health experts continue to monitor the safety of all vaccines. Millions of adults and children have received COVID-19 vaccines.
Do the vaccines have side effects?
Yes, though most of these side effects are minor. Children may have soreness or redness where they receive the shot. Some children will feel unwell afterwards. Some may get a fever, but very few get a high fever. Usually, symptoms last only a day or two. No young children in the COVID-19 studies had a serious adverse reaction to the vaccines.
Should children who have already been infected with COVID-19 get vaccinated?
Yes, the vaccine will provide additional protection. Vaccinated children are less likely to (a) get the virus again and (b) become very ill if they do get it again. Families whose children have recently had COVID-19 should talk with their child’s health care provider about the best timing for an updated COVID-19 vaccine.
Can the COVID-19 vaccine be given at the same time as other childhood vaccines?
Yes, children can receive COVID-19 vaccines at the same time as their annual flu vaccine and any other childhood vaccines. That said, there is no need to wait until other vaccines are due. If families have questions, they should contact their child's health care provider.
Where can families get COVID-19 vaccines for their children?
Many children can get the vaccine from their regular health care provider. Health care providers who do not have the vaccine can help families find a place to get it. Other places that may offer vaccines include community health centers, hospitals, pharmacies, and COVID-19 vaccination clinics in the community. Families can also visit Vaccines.gov to find COVID-19 vaccine locations.
Resource Type: Publication
National Centers: Health, Behavioral Health, and Safety
Last Updated: January 17, 2024