COVID-19 Vaccination for Children
Information for Jurisdictions, Healthcare Providers, Pharmacists, and Community Partners
COVID-19 vaccine equity is when all people who are eligible ─ including children ─ have fair access to COVID-19 vaccination. Use these resources to help children get vaccinated against COVID-19.
CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone ages 6 months and older, and boosters for everyone ages 5 years and older if eligible.
COVID-19 vaccines available for children include:
This operational planning guide includes details about the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children ages 6 months through 4 years and the Moderna vaccine for children ages 6 months through 5 years. This guide is intended to inform planning for all current COVID-19 vaccine programs and channels for distribution of vaccine for children in these age groups.
An overview of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine products and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine presentations can be found here:
- CDC COVID Data Tracker (Pediatric Data)
- COVID-Net State Activity Indicator Map (U.S. Hospitalization Data)
- Provisional COVID-19 Deaths: Focus on Ages 0-18 Years (National Center for Health Statistics)
- Children and COVID-19: State Level Data Report (American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association)
- COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Publications
- Effectiveness of 2-Dose BNT162b2 (Pfizer BioNTech) mRNA Vaccine in Preventing SARS-CoV-2 Infection Among Children Aged 5–11 Years and Adolescents Aged 12–15 Years — PROTECT Cohort, July 2021–February 2022 (CDC, MMWR)
- Safety Monitoring of COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Doses Among Persons Aged 12–17 Years — United States, December 9, 2021–February 20, 2022 (CDC, MMWR)
- Effectiveness of COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 mRNA Vaccination in Preventing COVID-19–Associated Emergency Department and Urgent Care Encounters and Hospitalizations Among Nonimmunocompromised Children and Adolescents Aged 5–17 Years — VISION Network, 10 States, April 2021–January 2022 (CDC, MMWR)
- COVID-19 Vaccine Safety in Children Aged 5–11 Years — United States, November 3–December 19, 2021 | MMWR (cdc.gov)
- Characteristics and Clinical Outcomes of Children and Adolescents Aged 18 Years Hospitalized with COVID-19 — Six Hospitals, United States, July–August 2021 | MMWR (cdc.gov)
- Trends in COVID-19 Cases, Emergency Department Visits, and Hospital Admissions Among Children and Adolescents Aged 0–17 Years — United States, August 2020–August 2021(CDC, MMWR)
- Hospitalizations Associated with COVID-19 Among Children and Adolescents — COVID-NET, 14 States, March 1, 2020–August 14, 2021(CDC, MMWR)
- Training and Education for COVID-19 Vaccination
- U.S. COVID-19 Vaccine Product Information: Find a suite of information and materials needed for each specific COVID-19 vaccine that covers administration, storage and handling, safety, and reporting.
- “Vaccine Administration” chapter, Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases(the Pink Book)—includes pictures of vaccine administration sites
- General Best Practice Guidelines for Immunization: Best Practices Guidance of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)
Printable Job Aids
- Vaccine Administration: Intramuscular (IM) Injection Infants 11 months of age and younger
- Vaccine Administration: Intramuscular (IM) Injection Children 1 through 2 years of age
- Vaccine Administration: Intramuscular (IM) Injection Children 3 through 6 years of age
- Vaccine Administration: Intramuscular (IM) Injection Children 7 through 18 years of age
- Vaccine Administration: Needle Gauge and Length
- Administering More Than One Vaccine on the Same Day: Clinical Considerations
- Intramuscular (IM) Injection: Sites: This training helps providers identify intramuscular (IM) injection sites. A needle is used to inject the vaccine into the muscle. The appropriate site for an intramuscular injection for those under 2 years of age is the vastus lateralis muscle. The deltoid muscle over the triceps area of the upper arm is preferred for persons 3 years of age and older. Safe injection practices minimize risk of injuries, infections, and non-infectious adverse events for both patients and providers. Health care providers are always advised to observe patients for 15 minutes after vaccination.
- Intramuscular (IM) Injection: Supplies (Children Birth through 18 Years of Age): This training addresses how to select the equipment needed to prepare an intramuscular (IM) injection for children from birth through 18 years of age. A supply of needles of the appropriate lengths should be available. Aseptic technique must be used to protect supplies from microbial contamination. Safe injection practices minimize risk of injuries, infections, and non-infectious adverse events for both patients and providers. Health care providers are always advised to observe patients for 15 minutes after vaccination.
- Comfort and Restraint Techniques: This training demonstrates comfort and restraint techniques. Determine the best position for the patient based on comfort, age, activity level, administration site, and safety. Instruct the parent on how to help the infant or child stay still so you can administer the vaccine(s) safely.
- You Call the Shots Vaccine Administration e-Learn: The vaccine administration e-Learn is an interactive, online educational program and is a useful introductory course or a great refresher on vaccine administration. Continuing education (C.E.) is available.
- You Call the Shots Storage and Handling: You Call the Shots is a series of interactive, web-based, immunization training courses that present practice-oriented immunization content in a self-study format. This module provides an overview of vaccine storage and handling requirements. Continuing education (C.E.) is available.
- Effective COVID-19 Vaccine Conversations – AAP: This online course aims to improve knowledge and competency among pediatricians and non-physicians to have effective COVID-19 vaccine conversations with patients and families, including sharing credible COVID-19 vaccination information and responding to misinformation.
- Vaccinating Children with Disabilities Against COVID-19
- Slide Deck: COVID-19 Vaccines and Children with Developmental Disabilities: Let’s Talk (Webinar held Nov. 17, 2021, from VaxFactsDDNY, a project of Rose F. Kennedy Children’s Evaluation & Rehabilitation Center at Albert Einstein College of Medicine)
- Important Considerations for COVID-19 Vaccination of Children with Developmental Disabilities (Pediatrics, Oct 2021)
- Talking to Patients with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities about COVID-19 Vaccination
- Children and Youth with Special Healthcare Needs in Emergencies