On Saturday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved COVID-19 vaccines for children six months and older.
Dr. Kristina Bryant, pediatric infectious disease specialist at Norton Children’s Hospital, appeared on KPRC 2+ to share more information about COVID-19 vaccines for children. For her insights, watch the full interview in the video player at the top of the page.
Here are the CDC’s recommendations:
- CDC recommends everyone ages 6 months and older get vaccinated against COVID-19.
- Everyone 5 years and older should also get a COVID-19 booster, if eligible.
- Use CDC’s COVID-19 booster tool to learn if and when your child or teen can get boosters to stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines.
The CDC’s answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccination for children and teens:
Are COVID-19 vaccines safe for children and teens?
Yes. Before recommending COVID-19 vaccination for children, scientists conducted clinical trials with thousands of children to establish the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines.
Millions of children and teens ages 5 through 17 years have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Ongoing safety monitoring shows that the known risks and possible severe complications of COVID-19 outweigh the potential risks of having a rare, adverse reaction to vaccination.
Reported side effects tend to be mild, temporary, and like those experienced after routine vaccination. Serious reactions after COVID-19 vaccination in children are rare. When they are reported, serious reactions most frequently occur within a few days after vaccination.
Why should children 6 months and older get vaccinated against COVID-19?
Children who get COVID-19 can get very sick, can require treatment in a hospital, and in rare situations, can even die. After getting COVID-19, children and teens can also experience a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems. Getting eligible children vaccinated can help prevent them from getting really sick even if they do get infected and help prevent serious short- and long-term complications of COVID-19.
Vaccinating children can also give parents greater confidence in their children participating in childcare, school, and other activities.
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer, more reliable way to build protection than getting sick with COVID-19. The known risks of COVID-19 and possible severe complications—such as long-term health problems, hospitalization, and even death—outweigh the potential risks of having a rare, adverse reaction to vaccination. The benefit of COVID-19 vaccines, like other vaccines, is that those who get vaccinated get protection without risking the potentially serious consequences of getting sick with COVID-19.
Should children and teens who have previously been infected with COVID-19 get vaccinated?
Emerging evidence indicates that people can get added protection by getting vaccinated after having been infected with COVID-19. So, even if a child has had COVID-19, they should still get vaccinated. For children who have been infected with COVID-19, their next dose can be delayed 3 months from when symptoms started or, if they did not have symptoms, when they received a positive test result.
How does COVID-19 vaccine dosage work for children and teens?
COVID-19 vaccine dosage is based on age on the day of vaccination, not on size or weight. Children receive a smaller, age-appropriate dose.
Where can I get a COVID-19 vaccine for my child or teen?
Parents and caregivers can use vaccines.gov to find doctor’s offices, local pharmacies, healthcare clinics, and local health departments where the COVID-19 vaccine for children who are eligible is available. This free resource provides accurate and up-to-date information about vaccination services in your area. You can also text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you in the U.S.
For more information visit https://www.vaccines.gov/.