6 Things to Know about COVID-19 Vaccination for Children

Information for parents and caregivers of children ages 6 months and older

Illustration of eight children of different races and genders

For the best protection, CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone 6 months and older and boosters for everyone 5 years and older, if eligible.

1. COVID-19 vaccination for children is safe.

Before recommending COVID-19 vaccination for children, scientists conducted clinical trials. Then, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective for everyone 6 months and older.

Ongoing safety monitoring shows that COVID-19 vaccination continues to be safe for children. The known risks of COVID-19 and possible severe complications outweigh the potential risks of having a rare, adverse reaction to vaccination.

Learn more about the safety of COVID-19 vaccination for children.

Child wearing a mask waving. Safe. Effective.

Tips for Parents and Caregivers:

  • Before vaccination, tell the vaccine provider about any allergies your child may have—just like what you would do when your child receives their routine vaccines.
  • Requesting accommodations at COVID-19 vaccination sites: When making an appointment or arriving for vaccination, you can let staff and/or volunteers know your child might need some accommodations. By law, children are also allowed to have a service animal accompany them. Learn more about COVID-19 Vaccination for Children and Teens with Disabilities.

2. Getting vaccinated can help protect children against COVID-19.

Vaccinating children can: 

  • Prevent children from getting seriously sick if they do get COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccination continues to protect children against severe disease, including hospitalization. There is no way to tell in advance how children will be affected by COVID-19. Children with underlying medical conditions are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. However, healthy children without underlying medical conditions can also experience severe illness.
  • Give parents greater confidence for children to participate in childcare and school and in sports, playdates, extracurricular activities, and other group activities.
Five children wearing masks sitting around a table

3. Children may have some side effects after COVID-19 vaccination.

Reported side effects are mild, temporary and like those experienced after routine vaccines. Some children have no side effects.

Learn more about potential side effects in children after COVID-19 vaccination.

Illustration of a child and six different symptoms
Hand holding smartphone showing v-safe app

Enroll Your Child in v-safe

After getting your child vaccinated, use v-safe to get health check-ins and share how your child feels after COVID-19 vaccination.

4. Children receive a smaller dose of COVID-19 vaccine than teens and adults.

COVID-19 vaccine dosage is based on age on the day of vaccination, not on a child’s size or weight. This is also true for other routinely recommended vaccines, like hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines.

Doctor talking to girl in a wheelchair

Tips for Parents and Caregivers:

5. Children who have already had COVID-19 should still get vaccinated.

Emerging evidence indicates that people can get added protection by getting vaccinated after they have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. For children who have been infected, 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.

If your child tests positive for COVID-19 after getting their first shot, they should wait until their isolation period has ended before getting their second shot.

Boy walking down a school hallway

6. Children can safely receive other vaccines the same day they receive their COVID-19 vaccine.

Routine vaccination is an important preventive care service that should not be delayed.

If multiple vaccines are given at a single visit, each injection will be given in a different injection site, according to recommendations by age.

Mother and child talking with doctor
COVID-19 vaccines are accessible and can be found in a variety of locations
  • The federal government is providing COVID-19 vaccines free of charge to everyone living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status.
  • Check with your child’s healthcare provider about whether they offer COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Contact your state, territorial, local, or tribal health department for more information.
  • Check your local pharmacy’s website to see if vaccination walk-ins or appointments are available for children.
  • Search vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you that may be offering vaccines for children.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Children with Disabilities
Page last reviewed: August 3, 2022