Children

CDC Recommends Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine for Children 5 to 11 Years

On November 3, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director signed off on the recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. An estimated 28 million children are now eligible for the pediatric dose, and the CDC highly recommends they get it.

Protéjase del COVID-19: Vacúnese contra el COVID-19

Why Children and Teens Should Get Vaccinated for COVID-19

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.
  • Get very sick from COVID-19.
  • Have both short and long-term health complications from COVID-19
  • Spread COVID-19 to others.

Children with underlying medical conditions are more at risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared with children without underlying medical conditions. Children who get infected with the virus that causes 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.

For some immunocompromised children aged 5–11 years old, CDC now recommends an additional dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to complete the primary series – a total of three doses.

For more information about the booster go to www.vacunatehoy.org/3rd-booster.html


Protecting your child, family and the community

  • Vaccinating children can help protect family members, including siblings, who are not eligible for the vaccine and are at a higher risk of developing complications from COVID.
  • Vaccination can help protect children from getting seriously sick if they get COVID-19.
  • Vaccinating kids 5 and older can help keep them and other kids safe in school and play dates.

Protect Unvaccinated Children
Unvaccinated children ages 2 years and older should wear a mask in public spaces and around people they don’t live with. Learn more about protecting unvaccinated family members.


COVID-19 Vaccines Are Safe for Children and Teens

  • Your child may get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, including flu vaccine, at the same time.
  • Serious health events after COVID-19 vaccination are rare.
  • Cases of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the outer lining of the heart) have been reported after Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination of children ages 12–17 years. These reactions are rare; in one study, the risk of myocarditis after the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech in the week following vaccination was around 54 cases per million doses administered to males ages 12–17 years.
  • A severe allergic reaction, like anaphylaxis, may happen after any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines, but this is rare.
  • Your child cannot get COVID-19 from any COVID-19 vaccine, including the Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine.


COVID-19 Vaccine Dosage and Administration

  • Adolescents ages 12 years and older receive the same dosage of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine as adults.
  • The Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine for children ages 5 through 11 years has the same active ingredients as the vaccine given to adults and adolescents. However, children ages 5 through 11 years cannot get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine given to adults and adolescents. In addition, children ages 5 through 11 years receive an age-appropriate dose that is one-third of the adult dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Smaller needles, designed specifically for children, are also used for children ages 5 through 11 years.
  • Unlike many medications, COVID-19 vaccine dosage does not vary by patient weight but by age on the day of vaccination.
  • Your child will need a second shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine three weeks after their first shot.


Preparing Children and Teens for Vaccination

The experience of getting a COVID-19 vaccine will be very similar to the experience of getting routine vaccines. Use our tips to support your child before, during, and after routine vaccinations when they get a COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Talk to your child before vaccination about what to expect.
  • It is not recommended you give pain relievers before vaccination to try to prevent side effects.
  • Tell the doctor or nurse about any allergies your child may have.
  • To prevent fainting and injuries related to fainting, your child should be seated or lying down during vaccination and for 15 minutes after the vaccine is given.
  • 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.


Possible side effects

Your child may have some side effects, which are normal signs that their body is building protection.

On the arm where your child got the shot:

  • Pain.
  • Redness.
  • Swelling.

Throughout the rest of their body:

  • Tiredness.
  • Headache.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Chills.
  • Fever.
  • Nausea.


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