COVID-19: 5 reasons to vaccinate younger kids
June 27, 2022—Kids as young as 6 months can now get their COVID-19 vaccine. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) to make child-sized doses available to young children, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention OK'd the shots.
Why might you want to vaccinate your little ones? Consider the following:
1. The vaccines are safe—and they work. The FDA looked at studies that show that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective for young children.
2. Vaccines help prevent serious illness and hospitalizations. The vaccines can help kids avoid getting COVID-19. And it can help them avoid getting very sick if they do get COVID-19. Young and healthy children may not be at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness. But they can still get very sick and have to go to a hospital for treatment. About 1 in 3 kids who are hospitalized with COVID-19 have no underlying health problems, according to CDC.
3. Kids can get long COVID-19 too. While less common than in adults, some kids who get COVID-19 continue to struggle with symptoms even months after first being infected. Some of the more common symptoms of long COVID-19 are extreme tiredness, trouble concentrating, and joint and muscle pain.
4. COVID-19 disrupts family life. Kids who get sick may miss school, day care and other activities. Parents may miss work to stay home and care for a child.
5. Getting vaccinated helps protect others. Getting the vaccine can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 to other members of your family, friends and community.
Vaccine options for young kids
Young children can now get one of two approved COVID-19 vaccines. You should choose whichever vaccine is available, CDC suggests. The options for young children are:
- Moderna. Children ages 6 months through 5 years need two doses, one month apart.
- Pfizer. Children ages 6 months through 4 years need three doses. The first two doses are given three weeks apart, followed by a third dose given at least eight weeks after the second dose.
Make sure the older kids—and adults—in your family stay up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines too. For those ages 5 and up, it might be time for a booster shot.
If you have questions about vaccinating your kids, talk to your child's doctor. They can help you understand the risks and benefits.
Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines
Find out more in our Coronavirus health topic center.
This information is provided for educational purposes only. Individuals should always consult with their healthcare providers regarding medical care or treatment, as recommendations, services or resources are not a substitute for the advice or recommendation of an individual's physician or healthcare provider. Services or treatment options may not be covered under an individual's particular health plan.