COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids

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The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is now available for all kids ages 5 years and older

Children ages 5 years and older are able to get an age-appropriate dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children is a two-dose series given three weeks (21 days) apart. The vaccine dose for children (10 micrograms) is a third of the vaccine dose used among people ages 12 years and older (30 micrograms). 

Studies show that the vaccine is 91% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in children ages 5 to 11. Getting your child vaccinated can help protect them against COVID-19, as well as reduce disruptions at home and to in-person learning and group activities by helping to slow the spread of the virus.

Download our flyer, Help Kids Be Kids, to learn more about the approved COVID-19 vaccine for children.
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Kids can get their vaccine for free and close to homeMother and child receiving a vaccine from doctor

Everyone 5 and older can get a vaccine. Kids between 5 and 17 years of age, can get a Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. People 18 and older, can choose between Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The evidence shows that all three COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the U.S. are safe.  

  • Check with your child’s health care provider, local pharmacy, or clinics listed at www.tchd.org/COVIDvaccine to see if they are offering the COVID-19 vaccine for children. No insurance or ID is required.
  • CDPHE is partnering with Children’s Hospital Colorado to offer vaccines for children ages 5 to 11. Visit CDPHE’s website for more information: covid19.colorado.gov/kids-vaccines
  • More than 350 vaccine providers in Colorado ordered vaccine for ages 5 to 11 and are accepting appointments: bit.ly/CDPHEvaccineProvider

COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines, such as flu or other routine childhood vaccines, can be administered together at the same visit.

Find a vaccine site or call the state's vaccine call center at 1-877-268-2926

Help prepare your child for their COVID-19 vaccination

Before their visit:

  • Kids younger than 18 need parental consent to get vaccinated. Talk to your provider to see if you should be present at your child’s vaccination appointment or if you provide parental consent over the phone or in writing.
  • Talk to your child before the visit about what to expect. 
  • Kids with underlying conditions can receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

During their visit: 

  • Health care providers, parents, and children ages 2 and older should wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth.
  • Review the fact sheet that tells you more about the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and discuss any questions or concerns you have with the provider. 
  • Tell the doctor or nurse about any allergies your child may have.
  • You should get a vaccination card that tells you what COVID-19 vaccine your child received, the date they received it, and where they received it. 
    • Keep this vaccination card for your child’s second dose and in case you need it for future use. Consider taking a picture of your vaccination card as a backup copy. 
    • Do not laminate your vaccine card so it can be updated for future booster shots, if necessary.
  • After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, you will be asked to stay for 15-30 minutes so your child can be observed for any reactions. 

After their visit: 

  • Children may have some side effects similar to those seen in adults and with other vaccines. Side effects are normal signs that their body is building protection. 
    • Common side effects include pain at the injection site, tiredness, and headaches. These side effects may affect your child’s ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. There were no serious side effects seen during the clinical study of children ages 5 to 11 and some people have no side effects at all.
    • Contact your doctor or healthcare provider if:
      1. The redness or tenderness where you got the shot gets worse after 24 hours
      2. Your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days
    • If needed, talk to your child’s health care provider about taking over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or other non-aspirin pain relievers, for any pain and discomfort after getting vaccinated.
  • Ask about getting started with the CDC's V-safe After Vaccination Health Checker. It is a free, smartphone tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide your personalized health check-ins after your COVID-19 vaccination. Parents can enroll on behalf of their child. 

Understanding the benefits of vaccinating your kidsSmall African-American studying in school

We understand making health decisions for your child can be hard, especially when it comes to a new vaccine. We know more about the COVID-19 vaccine than we don’t know because over 220 million people in the US have gotten at least one vaccine, including over 12 million adolescents. The vaccine is safe and effective.

We’re here to provide you with the information you need to make an informed choice for your family. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines for children from the CDC and talk to your child’s health care provider for more information.

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine will help keep kids healthy, so kids can be kids again.

Kids should get to be kids, and that means being able to safely attend school, play with friends and enjoy other activities away from home. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine for your child will help keep them safe, and can give you peace of mind that they are protected for whatever special moments life brings. 

Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic. With about 480,000 children ages 5 to 11 across Colorado, the approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for kids is an important step to help end the pandemic. People who are fully vaccinated, including kids, can safely resume many of the activities that they did prior to the pandemic. 

Although fewer children have had COVID-19 compared to adults, they can still get it, become ill, and spread it to others.

Cases of COVID-19 among children have increased in the U.S., especially with the widespread transmission of the highly infectious Delta variant.

  • As of October 2021, there have been more than 1.9 million cases of COVID-19 among children ages 5 to 11 in the U.S. since the onset of the pandemic, according to the CDC.
  • As of October 2021, there have been more than 39,200 cases of COVID-19 among children ages 5 to 11 in Colorado, and more than 210 children have been hospitalized due to COVID-19, according to CDPHE. 
  • According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, currently about 1 in 4 cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. are among those ages 17 and younger.

While children have been less severely affected by COVID-19 compared with adults, children get COVID-19 as often as adults and can spread it to others. Children with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness, but about one-third of children hospitalized with COVID-19 had no previous medical conditions

Though it is very rare, some children who have had COVID-19 may later develop Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), a rare but life-threatening condition associated with COVID-19.

  • The multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a rare but serious condition that has been observed in a small number of kids with COVID-19. With MIS-C, different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. The CDC does not yet know what causes MIS-C. However, CDC knows that many children with MIS-C had COVID-19 or had been around someone with COVID-19. MIS-C can be serious, even deadly, but most children who were diagnosed with this condition have eventually gotten better with medical care.

Vaccines are safe and effective for anyone 5 and olderYoung blonde girl holding a bright pink skateboard

COVID-19 vaccines have been used under the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history, which includes studies in adolescents. 

  • The vaccine for children ages 5 to11 was 91% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infection, and 100% effective at preventing severe disease and death.
  • Millions of children ages 12 to 17 years have already safely been vaccinated against COVID-19, and more than 3,000 children ages 5 to 11 years have safely received a vaccine in a clinical trial.
  • Immune responses of children ages 5 to 11 were as strong as those of individuals ages 16 to 25.
  • The vaccine’s safety was studied in approximately 3,000 children ages 5 to 11 who received the vaccine and no serious side effects have been detected in the ongoing study.

The science behind COVID-19 vaccines is not new. In fact, scientists have been studying it for decades.

Vaccines are one of the most impactful public health achievements in history and have protected children from many preventable illnesses including measles, HPV, polio, chickenpox, flu, and more. Similarly, COVID-19 vaccines have already saved hundreds of thousands of lives in the U.S.

Like many other vaccines, the Pfizer vaccine works with your natural immune system to target the virus that causes COVID-19. The vaccine teaches your body to produce antibodies that remember how to fight that disease in the future. The vaccine disappears once it has taught your body how to respond to the virus. 

  • mRNA vaccines provide a set of instructions that teach our cells how to make a piece of a viral protein that triggers an immune response in our bodies and causes it to begin making protective antibodies, just like it would if our body encountered COVID-19 virus. These antibodies are then prepped and ready to fight off the virus if we are ever exposed to it, before it causes infection. 
  • mRNA vaccines cannot make you sick with COVID-19 because they do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19. 
  • mRNA vaccines do not change or alter your DNA. 
  • Once the vaccine is done triggering our cells to create the spike protein, our cells break down the mRNA and get rid of it.
Getting vaccinated has been proven to be highly effective in reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even in the midst of the widely circulating Delta variant.