Why vaccinate children against COVID-19?
What parents and caretakers need to know.
- COVID-19 can make children and teens of any age very sick and sometimes requires hospitalization. In rare situations, complications from COVID-19 can lead to death. Children can also suffer from long-term health problems after a COVID-19 infection, including Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) and post-COVID conditions or “long COVID.”
- The vaccine has met FDA’s scientific standards for children’s safety.
- Clinical trials show the vaccine is effective at preventing serious illness and hospitalization from COVID-19 for children age 5 and older. Growing evidence suggests that COVID-19 vaccines may also lower the risk of MIS-C and post-COVID conditions.
- Vaccinating children can help protect family members, including family members who may be at increased risk of getting very sick if they are infected.
- Vaccinating children age 5 years and older can help keep them in school, and help them safely participate in sports, playdates, travel, and other group activities.
Questions? Ask your pediatrician or health care provider about the pediatric COVID vaccine. You can also call 1-855-MD-GOVAX (1-855-634-6829).
Vaccines & Eligibility for Children
Marylanders age 5 and older are eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19 and its variants. Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is the only vaccine authorized or approved for children ages 5 through 17 years. Marylanders age 5 and older are eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19 and its variants.
|4 years and under||No||No||No|
|5-11 years old||Yes||No||No|
|12-17 years old||Yes||No||No|
Booster shots are available for people age 5 and over.
COVID-19 vaccine boosters can enhance or restore protection that might have waned over time after your primary series vaccination. Marylanders ages 5 to 17 should receive the Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot at least 5 months after completing their first two shots.
Where can I get a pediatric COVID-19 vaccine?
- Check with your child’s healthcare provider about whether they offer COVID-19 vaccination
- Check your local pharmacy’s website to see if vaccination walk-ins or appointments are available for children
- Visit covidvax.maryland.gov to find a location and make an appointment
The COVID-19 vaccine is free regardless of a person’s immigration or health insurance status.
Before and after your child’s COVID-19 vaccine
The experience of getting a COVID-19 vaccine will be similar to the experience of getting other routine childhood vaccines. Use the CDC’s tips to support your child before, during, and after they get a COVID-19 vaccine.
Your child may have some side effects, which are normal signs that their body is building protection. It is important to note that more than 90% of COVID-19 side effects are minor, and last only 1-2 days.
Possible short-term side effects from the COVID-19 vaccination
On the arm where your child got the shot:
Throughout the rest of the body:
- Muscle Pain