Mother and daughter outside having fun

Information for Parents

Help protect your whole family and fight COVID’s impact in your community by getting yourself and your children age 5 years and older vaccinated.

Schedule an appointment FAQs & Resources

Real Maryland kids have lots of reasons to make sure Marylanders 5 and older are vaccinated.

"I feel happy because now I'm protected" - Faseeha

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.
Little girl taking a vaccine from her doctor, pediatrist

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.

Authorized For Pfizer-BioNTech Moderna J&J/Janssen
4 years and under No No No
5-11 years old Yes No No
12-17 years old Yes No No
Teen girl after her vaccination

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.

Schedule an appointment Booster Eligibility

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:

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling

Throughout the rest of the body:

  • Tiredness
  • Chills
  • Muscle Pain
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Nausea

Further Reading