Information last updated 11/4/2021
On Friday, Oct. 29, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 to include children 5 through 11 years of age.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), clinical trials have shown that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is highly effective at preventing COVID-19 infection in children ages 5-11. Vaccinations may help keep children from spreading COVID-19 to others and can also help keep your child from getting seriously sick even if they do get COVID-19. From a safety perspective, the vaccine has undergone and will continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history.
The vaccine series for children 5-11 years old is two doses given 3 weeks (21 days) apart. It is recommended that you make your child’s appointment for the second dose at the time of the first dose appointment.
Commonly reported side effects in clinical trials included injection site pain (sore arm), redness and swelling, fatigue, headache, muscle and/or joint pain, chills, fever, swollen lymph nodes, nausea and decreased appetite. More children reported side effects after the second dose than after the first dose. Side effects were generally mild to moderate in severity and occurred within two days after vaccination, and most went away within one to two days.
Pain relievers are not recommended before vaccination to try to prevent side effects.
No. Each dose is 10 micrograms, which is one-third of the dose used in adults and teens. This recommended dosage has been found to be highly effective in protecting young recipients against COVID-19. This vaccine is NOT interchangeable with the vaccine for individuals 12 years old and older.
To avoid confusion, the formulation for children ages 5-11 years old is packaged with an orange label and orange cap, while the vaccine for adults is packaged with a purple label and purple cap. Our team members who administer vaccines have completed the necessary vaccine safety training and diligently follow the appropriate clinical protocols.
Per guidance from the CDC, pediatricians will allow for a 4-day grace period around birthdays to determine which dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is needed. For children who are 11 when they start the series, they should receive another 10-microgram dose after they turn 12 a few weeks later.
Yes. It is safe for your child to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, including the flu vaccine, at the same time.
Currently, Pfizer is the only vaccine manufacturer that has received emergency use authorization for this age group.