6 Questions Parents Are Asking About COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids

August 19, 2021

Clinical Contributors to this story:
Sejal Bhavsar, M.D.
Kevin A Slavin, M.D.
Updated 6/29/22

6 Questions Parents Are Asking About COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids

In the United States, two COVID-19 vaccines have now been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use in children 6 months of age and older. 

While this may be a welcome piece of news for many parents, you may have some questions before you’re ready to sign your child up for an appointment. We connected with experts across Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health to get your questions answered:

How does COVID-19 affect children?

While most cases of COVID-19 in children cause mild illness, some children do have more severe illness requiring hospitalization for treatment of COVID-19 pneumonia and Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), which can affect multiple organs, including the heart. Some children can also have “long COVID” with persistent symptoms for months after infection including extreme fatigue, “brain fog”, breathing problems and body aches.

The vaccine can prevent infection and should decrease the risk of all of these problems from COVID-19.

Should my child get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Generally, yes. However, there may be instances where you and your child’s physician make a different determination. After rigorous research, the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months and older is safe and effective. Vaccination, as well as social distancing and masking for those old enough, will help to make it possible for children to stay safe against serious illness from COVID-19.

Is it safe to get my child vaccinated?

The COVID-19 vaccine for children has been through several layers of rigorous testing and thorough review by the FDA and Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

Thousands of children across the country participated in the clinical trials. Among those who received the vaccine, it was shown to be safe and effective at preventing COVID-19.

The COVID-19 vaccines are the most closely monitored vaccines that have ever been developed. And the FDA and CDC will continue to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, including among children.

What are the possible side effects of the vaccine in children?

Research has shown that children receiving the vaccine reported similar side effects as adults, including temporary pain at the injection site, fatigue, headaches and less commonly – fever, chills, nausea and joint pain. Side effects typically last 1-3 days and may be more likely after the second dose. Like with adults, the vaccines should not be given to anyone with a history of severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine.

Which vaccines are currently available for children?

Currently both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are available for kids as young as 6 months of age. 


My child had COVID-19, should they still get the COVID-19 shot?

The CDC recommends vaccination even if you already had the COVID-19 infection because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. If your child has not experienced recent COVID-19 related symptoms, discuss with their physician when is the best time to schedule the COVID-19 vaccine.

Next Steps & Resources:

Book a vaccination appointment near you

Clinical Contributor: TK Doctor

How to Talk To Your Kids About Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

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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