Can kids get the COVID-19 vaccines?

Share

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Kids 6 months and older can get the vaccine in the U.S. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorization for children ages 6 months through 15. The FDA has also approved this vaccine, now called Comirnaty, to prevent COVID-19 in people age 16 and older.

For people age 12 and older, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine requires two shots given three to eight weeks apart. The vaccine for people ages 5 through 11 contains a lower dose than the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine used for people age 12 and older. For people age 5 through 11, the vaccine requires two shots given three weeks apart. For children ages 6 months through 4 years old, the vaccine requires three shots. The first two shots are given 3 to 8 weeks apart, and the third shot is given at least eight weeks after the second shot. The vaccine contains lower amounts of mRNA than the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines for older children and adults The vaccine for people ages 12 through 15 contains the same dose as the vaccine Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine used for people ages 16 and older.

The FDA has also given emergency use authorization to a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months through 17 years old. This vaccine requires two shots, given 4 to 8 weeks apart. The vaccine for ages 6 months through 5 years old contains lower amounts of mRNA than the COVID-19 vaccine for older adults and children.

Research shows that the three shots for kids ages 6 months through 4 years old have produced antibody levels similar to those in young adults after getting the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Research has shown that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is about 91% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children ages 5 through 11. Research has shown that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is 100% effective in preventing the COVID-19 virus in children ages 12 through 15. The vaccine is 91% effective in preventing severe illness with COVID-19 in people age 16 and older.

It’s estimated that the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is about 51% effective in preventing COVID-19 in babies ages 6 months through 23 months. For kids ages 2 through 5 years old, the vaccine is estimated to be 37% effective in preventing COVID-19. For kids ages 6 through 17, the Moderna vaccine causes an immune response similar to that seen in adults.

A COVID-19 vaccine can prevent your child from getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 and spreading it at home and in school.

If your child gets COVID-19, a COVID-19 vaccine could prevent severe illness. Children with other health conditions, such as obesity, diabetes and asthma, might be at higher risk of serious illness with COVID-19.

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can help keep your child in school and more safely have play dates and participate in sports and other group activities.