When Will My Child Be Able to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?
December 22, 2020
As the approved age groups for the COVID-19 vaccines are updated to reach younger children, many parents are starting to wonder if and when it is safe to vaccinate their child. As of June 17, 2022, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are officially available to everyone six months and older.
Has the COVID-19 vaccine been studied in kids?
The vaccines approved for COVID-19 are under the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. Through this careful process, COVID-19 vaccination has been found to be safe for children ages 6 months and older.
Clinical trials with thousands of children and teens have been conducted to establish the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines before authorization and approval. Researchers have concluded that the potential risks and complications COVID-19 are much greater than the potential risk of having a rare, adverse reaction to the vaccine.
Reported side effects tend to be mild, short-term and typical to those experienced after any routine vaccination.
Who can get a vaccine now?
Vaccines are now available to all those six months of age and older:
The FDA has updated its emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to include individuals six months through four years of age. The vaccine had already been authorized for use in everyone five years of age and older.
The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has updated its EUA to include use of the vaccine in people six months through 17 years of age. The vaccine had already been authorized for use in adults 18 years of age and older.
The Johnson & Johnson Janssen COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for people aged 18 and older and should only be considered in some cases..
When can my younger child get the vaccine?
Distribution of vaccines for children six months of age and older has started across the country. The vaccine can be found at thousands of pediatric practices, pharmacies, local health departments, clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers, and other locations.
Parents should reach out to their doctor, local pharmacy, or health department, to find where vaccines for children are available.
Visit HackensackMeridianHealth.org/COVID19 to learn more and schedule a vaccine appointment.
How can I continue to protect my child?
Parents should be vaccinated against COVID-19, both to protect themselves and their children. Everyone should continue to wear masks and practice physical distancing as recommended by the CDC and NJ Department of Health. As always handwashing is a key part of preventing infections.
It is important not to delay medical care and continue with regular pediatrician and specialist appointments, including well-visits to keep on-track with routine vaccinations. In case of emergency, be sure to visit a pediatric emergency department so that any medical concerns do not escalate and become dangerous.
Next Steps & Resources:
- Get your COVID-19 vaccine today
- Meet our clinical contributor: Sejal Bhavsar, M.D.
- Seeing a Pediatrician During COVID-19: Cooper's Story
The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.
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