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Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccinations

About Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccines

Although fewer children have been infected with COVID-19 compared to adults, children can:

  • Be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19
  • Get sick from COVID-19
  • Spread COVID-19 to others

Get a COVID-19 vaccine for your child as soon as you can.

  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
  • COVID-19 vaccines have been used under the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history, which includes studies in adolescents.
  • Your child will need a second shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine 3 weeks (21 days) after their first shot.
  • Children and adolescents aged 12 – 17 years will receive the same dosage of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as adults. There are no patient weight requirements for COVID-19 vaccination, and COVID-19 vaccine dosage does not vary by patient weight.
  • The vaccine that is authorized for use in children 5 through 11 years of age includes the same mRNA and lipids, but different inactive ingredients compared to the vaccine that has been used under EUA in individuals 12 years of age and older.
  • Your child will not get the COVID-19 virus from any COVID-19 vaccine, including the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Your child may get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines at the same visit or without waiting 14 days between vaccines.

Cases of myocarditis and pericarditis in adolescents and young adults have been reported more often after getting the second dose than after the first dose of one of the two mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna. These reports are rare and the known and potential benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks, including the possible risk of myocarditis or pericarditis.

Children who get infected with COVID-19 can also develop serious complications like multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C)—a condition where different body parts become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. Since the pandemic began, more than 2,300 cases of MIS-C have been reported in children ages 5 through 11 years. Children with underlying medical conditions are more at risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared with children without underlying medical conditions.

To learn more about multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C): MIS-C FAQ

See the CDC’s statement on COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens for further info and clinical data.

Children Aged 12 – 17 Years COVID-19 Vaccine Information

CDC recommends everyone aged 12 years and older to get a COVID-19 vaccination to help protect against COVID-19. Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic. People who are fully vaccinated can resume activities that they did prior to the pandemic. Learn more about what you and your child or teen can do when you have been fully vaccinated. Children aged 12 years and older are able to get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.

Children Aged 5 – 11 Years COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Children 5 – 11 Years of Age Now Eligible to Receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 years of age.

The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup met on November 2 to review these recommendations and have unanimously concluded that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is safe and effective for this age group. The Workgroup released the following statement in regards the new eligible population: 

“…the Workgroup concluded the vaccine is safe and effective in this age group. Because substantial numbers of children of this age remain at risk of COVID-19 illness and its complications, including hospitalization and death, the Workgroup is confident that the benefits of this vaccine for children ages 5-11 years substantially outweigh any known or likely risks. Therefore, the Workgroup supports its use under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) as a two-dose series of 10 µg per dose given three weeks apart.”

Click here to view the complete press release from the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom.

For more information, please refer to the following resources:

Help Protect Your Child and Your Family

Getting a COVID-19 vaccination can help protect your child from getting COVID-19. Early information shows that the vaccines may help keep people from spreading COVID-19 to others. They can also help keep your child from getting seriously sick even if they do get COVID-19. Help protect your whole family by getting yourself and your children vaccinated against COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccines are safe

COVID-19 vaccines are effective

  • COVID 19-vaccines are effective. They can keep you from getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Learn more about the different COVID-19 vaccines.
  • COVID-19 vaccines also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.
  • Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Preparing for Your Child’s Vaccination Visit

  • Tips for how to support your child before, during, and after the visit.
  • Talk to your child before the visit about what to expect
  • Tell the doctor or nurse about any allergies your child may have.
  • Comfort your child during the appointment.
  • After your child’s COVID-19 vaccination, you will be asked to stay for 15–30 minutes so your child can be observed in case they have a severe allergic reaction and need immediate treatment.
  • For more information on preparing for your child’s vaccination, please visit: CDC COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens.

Vaccination of Minors FAQs

The federal government does not have specific requirements for medical consent for vaccination. States/jurisdictions have medical consent laws that address the circumstances under which a medical provider must seek consent prior to a medical procedure and the processes for obtaining that consent. These laws vary across jurisdictions. Providers may also be subject to policy requirements for consent within their own organizations.

To access COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, a provider must enroll in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Vaccination Program and sign the applicable CDC Provider Agreement. The CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Agreement requires the provider to comply with applicable patient assent and consent laws in their state/jurisdiction for administration of COVID-19 vaccines.

If a minor is vaccinated at a County vaccine clinic or special event, a consent form will be required for each child. To view a copy of the San Bernardino County COVID-19 consent form for individuals 17 years or younger HERE (en Español).

NOTE: At any San Bernardino County operated clinic, a parent or legal guardian is required to both sign the consent and remain present with the minor in order for the child to be vaccinated. 

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years will be a new product with new packaging, new product configuration (10-dose vial), different dosage and injection volume, and have a new National Drug Code (NDC); however, the formula of the vaccine will remain the same. Current products for adults and adolescents cannot be used in children under 12 years of age.

  • The FDA-approved Comirnaty (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) and the FDA-authorized Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) have the same formulation and can be used interchangeably to provide the COVID-19 vaccination series.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are authorized for use through a full-approval or an emergency use authorization issued by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • The COVID-19 vaccine has shown effective at helping to protect against severe disease and death caused by SARS CoV-2.

Some state, tribal, and territorial laws may require a parent or legal guardian to accompany an eligible minor to receive vaccinations. Some jurisdictions’ laws may allow parent/guardian consent without a requirement to be physically present for the vaccination if the provider is given evidence of the consent prior to vaccination. Providers may also have to comply with policy requirements determined by their organization.

At any San Bernardino County operated clinic, a parent or legal guardian is required to both sign the consent and remain present with the minor (aged 17 or younger) in order for the child to be vaccinated.

In clinical trials with children ages 5 through 11 years, no serious safety concerns were identified.  Reported side effects were mild and similar to those experienced after routine vaccines.

Possible side effects among children after COVID-19 vaccination may include:

  • Soreness at the injection site
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Low-grade fevers

These side effects may affect your child’s ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Some children have no side effects.

The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks.