COVID-19 VACCINE FOR CHILDREN 5 TO 11 – Frequently asked questions
Q: Why should I have my child vaccinated against COVID-19?
A: While COVID-19 tends to be milder in children compared with adults, it can make children very sick and cause children to be hospitalized. In some situations, the complications from infection can lead to death.
Although children are at a lower risk of becoming severely ill with COVID-19 compared with adults, children can:
- Be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19
- Have both short and long-term health complications from COVID19
- Get very sick from COVID-19
- Spread COVID-19 to others
Q: How is the vaccine different for children?
A: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11 is administered as two 10 microgram doses, which is three times lower than the one indicated for teens and adults.
Q: Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for children?
A: Yes. Safety is a top priority in any clinical trials for children. The vaccines were well tolerated in the studies, and children experienced similar effects that teens and adults do ild to moderate pain in the arm, mild headache, and fatigue were reported in a small number of cases after the first dose. A small percentage of children experienced fever and chills after the second dose.
Q: Do you need to space out the COVID-19 vaccine from other vaccinations?
A: The FDA and CDC have not yet weighed in on this matter for this age group. But for ages 12 and up, the CDC confirms it is safe to get the flu and other vaccines at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine. They noted that the side effects are generally the same when given alone or with other vaccines.
COVID-19 VACCINE BOOSTERS – Frequently asked questions
Q: Why should I get a booster for COVID-19?
A: Although COVID-19 vaccination for adults ages 65 years and older remains effective in preventing severe disease, recent data suggests vaccination is less effective at preventing infection or milder illness with symptoms over time. Emerging evidence also shows that among healthcare and other frontline workers, vaccination effectiveness against COVID-19 infections is also decreasing over time. This lower effectiveness is likely due to the to the combination of decreasing protection as time passes since getting vaccinated, as well as the greater infectiousness of newer variants.
Data from small clinical trials show that a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine booster increased the immune response in trial participants who finished their initial series 6 months earlier. A similar clinical trial showed that a Johnson & Johnson vaccine booster also increased the immune response in participants who completed their single-dose
vaccine at least 2 months earlier. With an increased immune response, people should have improved protection against COVID-19, including the Delta variant.
Q: When should I get a COVID-19 vaccine booster?
A: Pfizer and Moderna boosters are recommended for people 65 and up and younger adults with health problems, high-risk jobs or other situations that put them at high risk of COVID-19 infection. The doses are for those who received their second shot at least six months ago. The Johnson & Johnson booster is recommended for people 18
and older at least two months after the initial dose.
Q: Can I get a different COVID-19 vaccine booster from the original vaccine I received?
A: Yes, you can mix and match brands. The FDA has authorized three vaccine boosters —Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson — and determined it is safe to get a COVID-19 booster or additional doses that is a different brand than your initial dose or doses. If you choose the Moderna booster, you will receive half of the original Moderna
dose. Please be sure to confirm this with the person administering your shot.