COVID-19 in Kids

While children have been less affected by COVID-19 compared with adults, children get COVID-19 as often as adults and can spread it to others.

Children with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness.

Cases of COVID-19 among children have increased in the U.S., especially with widespread transmission of the highly infectious Delta variant.

Though it is very rare, some children who have had COVID-19 may later develop Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), a rare but life-threatening condition associated with COVID-19.

As of October 2021, there have been more than 1.9 million cases of COVID-19 among children ages 5 to 11 in the U.S. since the onset of the pandemic.

More than 39,200 of those cases were in Colorado with over 210 children ages 5 to 11 being hospitalized due to COVID-19.

“Getting kids vaccinated and maintaining a high level of vaccination coverage in our community will help protect kids and make social activities like birthday parties, sleepovers, group sports, and other activities kids have missed out on a lot safer.”

—Dr. Rusha Lev, Pediatrician in Denver and a Parent

Get your child vaccinated to protect against COVID-19

  • CDC recommends that everyone 5 years and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19. Children ages 5 to 11 are now able to get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

  • The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children is a two-dose series given three weeks (21 days) apart. The vaccine dose for children (10 micrograms) is a third of the vaccine dose used among people ages 12 and older (30 micrograms).

  • Studies show that the vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 is 91% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19, and 100% effective at preventing severe disease and death. Immune responses of children ages 5 to 11 were comparable to those of individuals ages 16 to 25.

  • The vaccine’s safety was studied in approximately 3,000 children ages 5 to 11 who received the vaccine and no serious side effects have been detected in the ongoing study, including no cases of myocarditis or pericarditis.

  • Side effects among children are similar to those among adults. They are normal signs that your body is building protection. Common side effects include pain at the injection site, tiredness, and headaches. These side effects may affect your child’s ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. There were no serious side effects seen during the clinical study of kids ages 5 to 11. Some people have no side effects at all.

  • COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines, such as flu or other routine childhood vaccines, can be administered together.

How to get a COVID-19 Vaccine for your kid

The COVID-19 vaccine is free. You don’t need ID or insurance for you or your child to get vaccinated.

What to expect when getting the vaccine

Before you visit

Talk to your child before the visit about what to expect.

Anyone under the age of 18 will need a parent or guardian's consent. Talk to your provider to see if you should be present at your child’s vaccination appointment or if you provide parental consent over the phone or in writing.

During Your visit

Health care providers, parents, and children ages 2+ should wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth.

Review the fact sheet that tells you more about the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and discuss any questions or concerns you have with the provider.

Tell the doctor or nurse about any allergies your child may have.

You should get a vaccination card that tells you what COVID-19 vaccine your child received, the date they received it, and where they received it.

After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, you will be asked to stay for 15-30 minutes so your child can be observed for any reactions.

After your visit

Children may have some side effects similar to those seen in adults and with other vaccines. Side effects are normal signs that their body is building protection.

Common side effects include pain at the injection site, tiredness, and headaches. These side effects should go away in a few days.

Ask about getting started with the CDC's V-safe After Vaccination Health Checker.

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